The Maharashtra government on Thursday gave the initial go-ahead to eight major railway projects which have been planned to expand the suburban railway network. The expansion plan is spread over the next two decades and will cost approximately Rs 52,000 crore.
The top two projects among these eight are a fast corridor between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Panvel, and a new suburban corridor on the Virar-Vasai Road-Diva-Panvel. Both are priority projects for the state as well as the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the authority that undertakes rail infrastructure projects.
MRVC proposed the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) III concept document at the board of directors’ (BoD) biannual meeting held on Thursday and chaired by the state’s urban development secretary, T C Benjamin.
At the meeting, Benjamin emphasised that the two projects mentioned earlier should be taken on top priority as the Group of Ministers (GoM) has given in-principle approval for a feasibility study at an approximate cost of Rs 10 crore.
“The CSTM-Panvel fast corridor, which will provide connectivity to the proposed new international airport at Navi Mumbai, and the Virar-Vasai Road-Diva-Panvel section, are priority projects for both, the state government and MRVC. A detailed project comprising estimated cost, planning, rehabilitation, elevation, etc for the above corridors should be drawn up within 8-12 months,” said Rakesh Saxena, Managing Director (MD) of the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC).
The other six projects in MUTP III are the third and fourth additional lines between Virar and Dahanu Road, Kalyan and Kasara, Kalyan and Karjat, harbour line extension from Goregaon to Borivli, fifth and sixth additional lines between Borivali and Virar, and new suburban lines in Navi Mumbai.
“The MUTP phase III has comprehensive plans till 2031. This has been done keeping in mind the demand-supply required 20 years down the line. However, CST-Panvel and Virar-Vasai Road-Diva-Panvel section remain a priority. Now, we will find out the estimated funds required for these projects,” said Saxena.