Lakhs of train commuters who take the Parel route everyday have something to cheer about. The Central Railway (CR) will upgrade the Parel station to a terminus. The work for the upgrade will start this June.
The transformation of Parel station to a terminus will bring huge relief to the commuters.
At present, the Parel station gets claustrophobic with lakhs of commuters taking the south-end of the foot-over-bridge because it leads to the business hub of Mumbai.
Over the past few years, the number of commuters using the station increased rapidly as central Mumbai emerged as a commercial hub. However, the railways did not take any step to upgrade the infrastructure at the station, which causes problems to the commuters.
Under the CST-Kurla 5th and 6th line project, which is part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-II, the CR has decided to develop the Parel station as a terminus considering the practical difficulties in extending the two new line between Parel and CST because of shortage of space.
The upgrade of Parel station includes widening of the existing platforms by 10 meters and its extension towards the Elphinstone road-over-bridge, construction of additional 15-car island platform adjacent the existing platform number one with double-discharge facility.
In addition to this, the railways have also planned overhead ticket booking office on the elevated deck that will connect the Elphinstone road-over-bridge to the Parel station, escalators connecting the middle foot-over-bridge. The work also includes yard remodelling, signalling and telecommunication-related works. For the terminus work, the CR had floated tenders last October.
The Parel terminus work was anticipated to cost around Rs 60-65 crore earlier, but it is now expected to incur a cost of around Rs 51 crore. Narendra Patil, the chief public relations officer of CR, said the railways has finalised a tender and awarded work to a successful bidder.
“The CR has awarded a tender for development of the Parel Terminus and the actual work is expected to start from June. It likely to take another 24 to 30 months for completion of the work,” said Narendra Patil, the chief public relations officer of CR. He added that once the Parel station job is completed, it will help in reducing the pressure on the Dadar station.
In the past decade, the stretch from Dadar to Mahalaxmi has seen a major transformation since new residential and commercial skyscrapers have come up on the mill lands, besides development of old chawls and buildings.
Now, the Elphinstone Road to Worli has become a business district but the capacity of the railway stations did not go through any overhaul, putting pressure on their infrastructure.
With a daily footfall of 1.5 lakh people, the platform remains chock-a-block with hardly any space to walk. Even the south-end foot-over-bridge has become creaky. Commuters often face a stampede-like situation. The north-end foot-over-bridge is hardly used though.
Hindustan Times has been consistently reporting about the overcrowding at the Parel station, resulting in stampede-like situation at the CST-end staircase during peak hours. Following which the government railway police (GRP) had deployed additional staff at the station to manage the crowd during peak hours.