The final hurdle in laying additional lines between 18-kms distance of Kurla and Thane, a project sponsored the World Bank under Mumbai Urban Transport Project, was on Thursday cleared.
Interestingly, more than 250 structures at Vikhroli station were on Thursday demolished by residents themselves.
This clears the last hurdle for the decade-old project and the railways can now take over laying the new two lines.
"The MMRDA today completed its job. We had issued letters of allotment to the project affected people there a month ago and they had promised to leave the premises once the festival season was over. Today, they kept their promise and demolished 256 structures themselves. The railways are now free to begin work," Ramnath Sonwane, MMRDA chief commissioner for relief and rehabilitation told HT.
"Totally, there were 1100 encroachments on the entire stretch of which 639 were residential and 256 commercial. The removal of all the commercial structures means a green signal for the project work," he added.
The Kurla-Thane additional lines project is a part of the MUTP project and the benefits of the additional lines will be segregation of main line and suburban train in Kurla-Thane section.
This will mean that all outstation passenger trains to or from Kurla terminus and freight trains to or from Trombay or Kurla yard will not interfere with suburban train operation in CSTM-Thane section, speeding up suburban train traffic and allowing the railways to add more services on the section.
The project is divided into two phases—phase I Kurla-Bhandup (10 km) approved in 1995-96 at a cost estimate of Rs.102.90 crore and phase II Bhandup-Thane (7 kms) approved in 1997-98 at a cost estimate of Rs. 56.79 crore.
Besides this, the project requires an additional cost of Rs 7-8 crore. According to MRVC officials, the total cost of the project is Rs 166 crore.
Till March 2006, Rs 129.97 crore have been spent and the budget grant allotment for the project for 2006-07 is Rs 20 crore.