Tracking Decongestion: MRVC concludes Survey of ‘Panvel-Karjat’ and ‘Airoli-Kalwa’ Suburban Rail line systems

Two Suburban Railway corridors on track after Union Budget 2017-18. Panvel-Karjat line will be a new line connecting the harbour and main central line. It will cut the distance between CST and Karjat from 100 km to 77 km. Airoli-Kalwa connector is slated to be a new route on the trans-harbour line – an elevated line of about 4 km, will provide greater connectivity to Navi Mumbai. It is aimed at decongesting Thane and Vashi stations.

MUMBAI: Two new suburban railway corridors inched forward with Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation Ltd (MRVC) completion of survey work. MRVC will forward the Survey Reports shortly to the Railway Ministry for approval, after which separate tenders will be floated to select strategic partners.

The double-laning of Panvel-Karjat Suburban Railway line is the bigger project pegged at Rs 2,700 crore, which will provide an alternative route from Karjat to CST.

The Airoli-Kalwa corridor is the other project that will help commuters from Kalyan and around working in the Thane-Belapur industrial belt, and enable them to bypass Thane.

While it will help decongest Thane station, commuters from Panvel and Vashi can avail direct connectivity with Kalyan, too, along the Trans-Harbour track as trains will be operated on the route.

As for the time factor from CST to Karjat, railway sources said currently the time taken is around 137 minutes, which would reduce to 78 minutes for travelling to Panvel and another 28km from Panvel to Karjat.

“We won’t be able to give the exact time now because the travel time from Panvel to Karjat would depend on the number of stations. But the total distance will reduce,“ said a source. “Also, the time will reduce further once the elevated fast-track corridor from CST to Panvel starts.The 78 minutes will reduce to around 50 minutes.“

The time of completion of both projects will be benchmarked after the negotiation for loan with World Bank (WB) gets over, said sources. The WB team has also visited the city twice to do its study.

MRVC has five projects under MUTP-III and will execute them on a 50:50 cost-sharing basis with the state government.Regarding the two railway projects, the state government funding was likely to be routed through CIDCO and MMRDA.