MRVC seeks TOD zone in Vasai-Panvel rail corridor

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) is planning to incorporate a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zone in its proposal to build a new rail line connecting Vasai and Panvel.

The corridor is one of the three proposed railway projects under the fourth phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP 4).

The project was first pitched as the Virar-Panvel corridor under MUTP 3A, but Niti Aayog asked railway authorities to reconsider the project’s feasibility. Railway officials are seeking TOD zones along the new corridor where higher FSI could be granted. According to officials, the MRVC is proposing two TOD zones: with 500-metre radius and 1-km radius. The decision on how much FSI should be granted would be decided by the State government, officials said.

Unlike the previous project, the corridor will terminate at Vasai, forming a seamless interchange with the Western Line. The corridor will pass through areas that are currently not connected by the suburban railway network. Senior officials said the project can be implemented easily as the corridor does not require too much land. It will run beside the existing railway corridor, which is used primarily by long-distance and freight trains.

Linking industrial zones

The new corridor will also connect industrial areas such as Bhiwandi and Taloja. Senior officials said a new detailed project report with a fresh cost estimate is being prepared. The cost will not vary much from the Virar-Panvel corridor’s cost, which was pegged at ₹7,134 crore. Sources said that the World Bank had shown keen interest in the project during discussions on providing funding for MUTP 3A.

Along with Vasai-Panvel corridor, the MRVC has also proposed an elevated corridor between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Panvel, and an underground corridor between CSMT and Thane.