MRVC proposes new plan for Churchgate-Virar elevated rail corridor

Mumbai: To keep the high-speed Churchgate-Virar elevated corridor relevant, Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has come up with a plan to curb the reach of the project. It will now go from Andheri to Virar.

This comes after reports from Delhi that the project had been scrapped due to lack of Requests for Quota (RFQ) from private companies and the Maharashtra government. The last survey conducted by the MRVC in 2009 showed that Andheri had overtaken Dadar and Churchgate in terms of footfalls.

A senior official from the MRVC said that the state government had reservations about the project, as the Metro III project would include Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ, which is almost the same as the Railways’ route. Officials, therefore, decided to run the elevated corridor between Andheri and Virar instead.

“Since we were told that our project would not be relevant after the Metro III project, we have been trying to think of another way by which we can decrease the crowd on our transport system. We saw that most of the crowd has increased between Bandra/Andheri to Virar and if we do not deal with this issue now, the number of deaths due to falling off trains will keep increasing,” he said.

The officials had initially thought of including Bandra in the plan, but realised that due to lack of space they would have to go underground between Bandra and Andheri, “Going underground is the only option between these two spots because we just don’t have the space for an elevated corridor. Since we have no space, it also raises our cost. The total project is estimated to cost `9,000 crore, but if we go underground, the cost comes up to `14, 000 crore,” added the official.

The MRVC will soon contact Railway officials as well as hold meetings with the state government again to get some clarity since it was not kept in the loop over recent changes.

“We will talk with the Railway Board and the state government because this is news for us. Also, we will present them this plan and try to convince them about it,” the official added.