If you’re a regular rail commuter to Navi Mumbai, cheer up. Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Thursday wrote to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, asking her to include 12-car trains for the area in the upcoming railway budget of July 3.
“The Harbour line serves the fast-growing area of Navi Mumbai, and there is already too much crowd on this route, especially during peak hours. It is therefore necessary that infrastructure on this line be modified to enable running of suburban trains with 12-car formation,” Chavan wrote.
The letter adds that the Central Railway has already prepared a pre-feasibility report on running 12-car trains on the Harbour line, estimating its total cost at around Rs 800 crore.
Chavan has urged Banerjee to include this project in the already-sanctioned second phase of the Rs 5,300 crore Mumbai Urban Transport Project, and to announce it in the budget.
Railway officials said the study includes the need for more platforms, bridges, strengthened power supply and respaced signals. Around 10 new 12-car trains will be needed for the Harbour line.
Statistics show a significant growth in the number of passengers on this line over the last five years. There has been a 37 per cent rise in passenger volume between 2003-04 and 2007-08. A 12-car train can carry 33 per cent more passengers than a 9-car train.
The Harbour line to Navi Mumbai currently ferries over 30 per cent of the Central line’s passenger traffic, making nearly 500 trips a day using 30 trains.