The much-awaited 9-car to 12-car conversion on the harbour line from CST to Panvel and Wadala to Andheri took place on Friday, with the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) awarding four civil engineering contracts for platform extension between CST and Mankhurd.
“We were only waiting for the state government GR before awarding contracts. As, without assurance of funds, contracts cannot be awarded. Now, work is expected to commence from the third week of December,” said Ravi Agarwal, executive director (planning).
For 10 lakh harbour line commuters this means relief from overcrowded trains, as the train capacity will increase by 33%. The MRVC is aiming to complete platform extension work comprising signal and electrical shifting by December 2014.
The GR dated November 30, directs both the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (CIDCO) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), to share 50% cost of the Rs714.10 crore project.
As the project was approved in the 2012-13 railway budget, the cost is to be shared in a 50:50 ratio between state government and Indian Railways.
The GR directs CIDCO to fund 50% of the Rs596.20crore (Rs298.10crore) to MRVC for extension of 15platforms between CST –Mankhrud. While, MMRDA is directed to fund 50% of remaining Rs117.90crore (Rs58.95crore) for extension of 4platforms from Wadala to Andheri that are Santacruz, Vile Parle, Bandra and Mahim.
Currently, there are 585 services on harbour line of 9car and run heavily crowded during peak hours.
“The 12-car services will be big relief to the Harbour line commuters who struggle travelling in peak hours especially between Wadala to Belapur,” said Roshan Shetty, 27, banker and Nerul resident.