Mumbai: One of the most ambitious suburban projects in Mumbai — the creation of an elevated Kurla Harbour line station — took off on Saturday, with the Central Railway coming out with a Rs.96 crore tender for the work.
The plan is to award the tender by the first week of August and then get the work completed in three years, said CR officials.
The project comprises creation of a rail flyover starting from the north of Chunabhatti to the south of Tilaknagar stations with a three line Harbour station right above the current platforms 7 and 8. To be built on stilts, the elevated station will allow goods trains to move on the tracks at ground level while Harbour line trains ‘fly’ over them.
Kurla sees a major operations problem everyday as suburban trains and an ever-increasing number of goods trains have to be adjusted on the same set of tracks. Currently, Harbour line trains wait for as long as 15 minutes as goods trains carrying coal or fuel cross tracks to get onto the fast track to move towards Thane and beyond.
And the situation threatens to get far worse once the Rs107-crore third line, being built by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), CR and MMRDA jointly for freight trains, comes up between Wadala and Kurla. It will bring in more goods wagons because the MbPT wants to transport coal coming into its port quickly and in larger quantities. Officials say the number of goods trains, once this third line comes up, will be far more than the 15 to 20 that move through Kurla now.
“Harbour line passenger load is growing rapidly at 9.22%, which is the highest in the country. At the same time, the number of goods trains will go up in the future because of the money it brings in. So the elevated Kurla Harbour line is imperative,” said an official.