MUMBAI: The land acquisition for two key rail infrastructure projects is expected to gather steam in the coming weeks. The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) aims to complete acquiring the land for the third and fourth lines between Virar and Dahanu and a rail corridor between Panvel and Karjat by the end of the monsoon.
The projects are part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project 3 (MUTP 3), which is being executed by the MRVC. R.S. Khurana, chairman and managing director of MRVC, said they have been in continuous dialogue with the State government to get the required land, and the groundwork for it has been completed. “We are pushing for land acquisition, and the target is to start the construction work on both the projects post monsoon,” he said.
While the lines between Virar and Dahanu require around 58 hectares of land, the Panvel-Karjat corridor needs 33 hectares. According to railway officials, around ₹150 crore has already been paid to the district collector’s office for land acquisition in 17 of the 24 surveyed villages on the Panvel-Karjat corridor.
In case of the Virar-Dahanu project, the MRVC is waiting for the State government to hand over the land parcels belonging to them, while land acquisition rates in 10 of the 31 surveyed villages have been finalised. Officials said eight more are expected to be completed by the end of this month. The MRVC is aiming to start construction by November.
Officials said in a joint meeting of the MRVC and government officials last month, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis directed that all hurdles for the project be cleared. Both projects have been progressing at a snail’s pace with the MRVC spending around ₹215 crore on the Panvel-Karjat project so far this year. The Virar-Dahanu quadrupling is going on at a much slower pace, with only around ₹60 crore being spent this year.
The two projects together account for ₹6,360 crore of the ₹10,947-crore MUTP 3. They have been planned to increase suburban services between Dahanu and Virar, and provide a direct connectivity between Navi Mumbai and Karjat. The MRVC is also in talks with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for a ₹3,500 crore loan for the MUTP 3.