Hope of a new suburban railway station near Panvel on the trans-harbour line of the Central Railway has soared with railway minister Suresh Prabhu responding positively to Shiva Sena MP Shrirang Appa Barne’s demand for it.
Barne, an MP from Maval Lok Sabha constituency which includes Panvel, has been requesting Suresh Prabhu for a new suburban station at Bhingarwadi onthe Panvel-Karjat line, to serve the commuting needs of eleven villages.
“People from the eleven villages under his constituency – Khanavali, Poyanje, Bhingarwadi, Bhingar, Shedung, Vardoli, Bherle, Belavali and Machiprabal – have been facing innumerable difficulties due to the absence of a railway station close to them. I therefore, suggested a station at Bhingarwadi, which is accessible to the surrounding villages,”said Barne.
Prabhu had initially responded to Barne, stating that the proposal was being examined and subsequently, he informed that the chief commercial manager of Central Railway has been asked to study and report it urgently.
“With the connectivity from Bhingarwadi, the people of my constituency will become part of the rapid urbanization that has been talking place in this area. The national common goal of affordable housing could be effectively met with peripheral developments like suburban rail connectivity,” added Barne.
Plans for Panvel region
A Central Railway committee report has said the traffic on CR has been rising at 4% a year where as it is falling by 1% in the western railway annually due to the real estate boom in the central suburbs. The pressure on CST-Panvel section is more than that of CST-Kalyan line.
The committee of railway officers, civic administrators and public representatives has highlighted the need for the acquisition of 150 new trains, increasing the frequency of trains, and stabling lines (parking places for trains) at Panvel, Thane and Kalyan. It particularly stressed on the need for the induction of ten new rakes in trans-harbor section, since no addition has been made during the last ten years.
The report pointed out that Navi Mumbai and its surrounding areas have since emerged as the new realty destination, thanks to the infrastructure boom in the area.
The committee has been appointed at the insistence of Prabhu himself, who was moved by a video clip showing of a youth falling from a speeding train that went viral. The panel admitted that ten people die daily on an average on the CR’s suburban section, and another ten get seriously injured.
The committee suggested a Rs 21,000 crore makeover plan for the CR, whose new general manager, Akhil Agrawal, said the report is being studied. He said the CR is looking for constructing stabling lines in areas like Thane, Kalyan and Panvel since space is a major constraint in Mumbai city.
The report - which has been signed by MPs Rajan Vichare, Poonam Mahajan and Arvind Sawant, apart from S K Sood, (then general manager of CR), Ketan Goradia (Commuters Association), L R Nagwani (NGO), Ajoy Mehta (BMC Commissioner) and E Ravindran (Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Commissioner) - is now placed on the CR website.