The Western Railways (WR) is keen to push through a suburban railway line connecting Bandra and Kurla through the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). The complex is Mumbai’s second-largest business hub after Nariman Point.
If this rail link is constructed, it will benefit approximately 36,000 commuters and ease pressure on the existing Bandra-Dadar and Kurla-Dadar routes, WR told the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in a letter.
This information was obtained through a Right to Information application filed by a city-based activist. WR has informed MMRDA that the link needs to be constructed, if not immediately then definitely in the future.
This communication was made in response to the MMRDA’s plans to scrap the rail link plan altogether.
In 2011, MMRDA issued a notification for deletion of the alignment of the proposed Bandra-Kurla rail link, citing that the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhrud metro link had already been planned to provide east-west connectivity.
In reply, WR addressed a letter to MMRDA on June 16, 2011 in which it stated that the metro did not have the capacity to accommodate 36,000 commuters, At best, it can act complimentary to railway service, says the letter accessed by Anil Galgali, an RTI activist, a copy of which is available with HT.
“The rail link is necessary considering the traffic it can ease on the Bandra-Dadar and Kurla-Dadar sections,” said CNK David, Public Relations Officer, WR.
The Bandra-Kurla rail link was first suggested in the early ’90s or late ’80s by Rail India Technical and Economic Services Ltd (RITES). Its need was further validated by M/s WS Atkins International in its report released in 1997.
MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawatkar said: “We have received suggestions and objections on the project. A detailed report will be submitted to the state, which will decide whether the link is required or not.”