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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Now, railway blames MMRDA for link road delay

Kailash Korde, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, December 26, 2012
First Published: 02:02 IST(26/12/2012) | Last Updated: 02:03 IST(26/12/2012)

Continuing with the blame game on the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road project, the Central Railway said that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) did not start work at the site despite being granted the required permissions.

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In response to a recent Right to Information act (RTI) query, the MMRDA had alleged that the work on the project had been affected owing to the delay in getting necessary permissions for work on the railway land.

Refuting the allegations, VA Malegaonkar, chief public relations officer, CR, said: "The plan for eight spans of the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) arm was approved in 2008-09. But, so far, only four spans have been constructed. The railway has given the needed clearances."

The CR claimed that it had asked the authority to revise the design of the proposed flyover for the main line. The plan suggested that a pier for the flyover be built in the middle of the suburban tracks and demanded 2,250 mega blocks. "It was impossible to give approval to the original plan. We couldn't have allowed the contractor to carry out work at the cost of safety," said a top official of the CR.

The plan to launch the pier outside the railway tracks was approved on August 6, said the official. The MMRDA was supposed to complete utility shifting, fixing barricades and driving of sheet piles before December 15. But, the work has not been started yet.

According to CR officials, the design for the project on the main line was revised twice.  In 2007, owing to the increase in the width of Mhada arm and in 2010 to change the girder design from concrete to steel.

"The commissioner of railway safety's (CRS) sanction for the scheme got delayed owing to the MMRDA's incomplete detailing," said a senior official.

"For the harbour line, the MMRDA contractor wanted to make only two girders at a time. This would have delayed the work further. The authority took six months to launch girders on the harbour line, despite getting approval in June," said Malegaokar.

Responding to the allegations, the MMRDA spokesperson said that the Maharashtra State Road Development Authority (MSRDC) is the nodal authority executing the SCLR project. The MSRDC officials were not available for comment.

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