MUMBAI: After proposing Churchgate-Virar and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Panvel elevated rail corridors, the railways is now examining the proposals of another elevated corridor, this time between CSMT and Kalyan. The officials have decided to scrap the Churchgate-Virar elevated corridor, which was later reduced to Bandra-Virar.
Union railway minister Piyush Goyal, in a recent meeting, directed the Central Railway (CR) officials to conduct a feasibility study for a CSMT-Kalyan elevated rail route. Such an elevated corridor will help ease the pressure on the overcrowded main line of the CR, the minister said.
The CR officials said they will have to consider issues such as existing road over bridges, overhead wires and possible height of the elevated corridor. “The study will be conducted based on the instructions of the railway minister. Goyal has also asked us to look at other ways to ease the pressure on the congested CSMT-Kalyan line,” said a senior CR official.
This is not the first time the idea of an elevated corridor between CSMT- Kalyan is being talked about. In the railway budget of 2012-2013, former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi had announced the pre-feasibility study of the CSMT-Kalyan corridor and had also sought a study for the Virar-Diva-Panvel and the CSMT-Panvel elevated corridors. The CR earlier had estimated the cost of the CSMT- Kalyan elevated corridor at Rs20,000 crore.
Moreover, the railways has shelved the Bandra – Virar elevated corridor project. The project was dropped after the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the body that handles railway infrastructure building, and Western Railways said the corridor will not be feasible. The process of acquiring land for the project and its financial viability has forced the railways to reconsider the project. With the state government building Colaba-Seepz line, which runs almost parallel to the Western line (Churchgate-Virar) up to Andheri, there are doubts over the response the elevated rail corridor would get.
Officials said the MRVC will now be extending the Western Railway’s harbour line up to Borivli and look at constructing two more lines between Borivli and Virar. “The work on Harbour railway till Goregaon is in its final stages. Since the Bandra- Virar elevated corridor project has been dropped, work on extension of the harbour rail till Borivli will begin.” said an MRVC official.
Meanwhile, the MRVC is tweaking the proposal for the cost of the CSMT- Panvel elevated corridor project which will be sent to the Railway Board for approval.