The city’s infrastructure planning body’s dream of setting up a 700 mega watts gas-based power station at Thakurli has crashed.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has allocated the same site as a permanent base for the 12th batallion of the Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF).
Even sidings — a short track beside the main rail line where trains can stand when not being used — for the 12-coach trains that will arrive soon under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project will be parked there, she announced.
Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority’s (MMRDA) commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad had recently said that a senior railway board official in New Delhi had agreed to their demand for setting up a power station.
The said land at Thakurli already has a defunct power station.
“The letter to the MMRDA by a railway board official must have been written due to a communication gap. The railway board cannot defy the ministry and a proper communication would soon be sent to the MMRDA,” said an official in the railway ministry, requesting anonymity for protocol reaosns.
While the project to set up a permanent base for the RPSF batallion is pegged at Rs 70 lakh, Banerjee has sanctioned Rs 30 lakh for this year. And for the Rs 6.20 crore project of building sidings, she has allocated Rs 2 crore for this year.
A senior railway official in Mumbai said work on laying the sidings has already started.
The plan to revive the Thakurli power station would have not only generated additional power to meet the railways’ requirement but also that of the city.