Mumbai: The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has asked the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) to take the land it owns near Wadala station for a lease period of 30 years instead of the usual 60 years and above. This land would be used for extending platforms at Wadala station which will be done within the deadline of turning the Harbour line fit for running from 12 coach trains by March of next year.
Although the MRVC officials are partially happy about the lease, negotiations are still on about extending the time period and deciding an acceptable amount for the lease.
“Usually we get lease for say 90 years like we did with CIDCO for the Navi Mumbai stations from Panvel to Vashi. With the MbPT, there is fear that if the lease is only 30 years then they may not renew it and the a railway line on which so much is being spent, will come to a standstill,” said a official, on the condition of anonymity.
The MRVC project to convert the Harbour line from nine to 12 coach has been stuck in limbo for the past two years with negotiations reaching a tangible stage in the last six months.
By increasing the Harbour line coaches from nine to 12, the line’s capacity to carry commuters will jump by 40 per cent in one shot.
“The current government seems to be interested in the CST-Panvel elevated corridor, but until then we have to face the fact that the footfall on Harbour is growing everyday,” added the official.
In his recent visit to the city, Railway Board Member (Electrical) Rajiv Tandon had hinted that both Harbour’s conversion from Direct Current (DC) to Alternate Current (AC), as well as the additional capacity by increasing to 12-coach trains will mostly likely be completed together in March of next year.