If you commute daily from Diva to Thane, and wish for a faster and convenient travel, you wait may just get a little longer than expected.
The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) officials fear that the Thane-Diva fifth and sixth line under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) phase II may get delayed as the project is yet to get land clearances and resolve issues on rehabilitation of the project-affected people.
Under the MUTP-II, the additional fifth and sixth line between Thane-Diva, which will be used for long-distance trains, will be constructed at a cost of Rs287 crore. The stretch between Thane and Diva is about 10 km and the MRVC needs to acquire about 9 acres.
The Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) regulations made acquiring land a tedious process, say MRVC officials. There are about 700 project-affected families between Thane and Diva that need to be rehabilitated.
According to the chief public relations officer of the MRVC, Prakash Rao Vazalwar, the detailed report about survey of number of families had been submitted to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in February 2010.
“The land acquisition usually takes about one-and-a-half year, but in this case even the rehabilitation of the project-affected people given to MMRDA, have not been progressed since a year. We fear that the land acquisition will further delay the project,” said an MRVC official requesting anonymity.
According to MMRDA officials, the detailed proposal for the rehabilitation of about 700 families has been sent to the state government for evaluation and a final decision on this is awaited. “We have given two options for rehabilitation of those affected by this project. The rehabilitation should be done either under the MUTP or the Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project (MUIP),” said Dilip Kawathkar, joint project director of the MMRDA.
Vazalwar also raised the issue of CRZ regulations being implemented on this stretch between Thane and Diva. The new CRZ rules prohibit construction within the 100 m from the coast.
“According to the Railway Act, the railway project can not be objected under the CRZ as it is not a private construction. We had a meeting with the forest department last month and now they will have to pass the proposal to the state government,” said Vazalwar.
Work on Diva station has already begun. “If we get all the land, we will be able to keep our deadline. Our plans are ready,” said an MRVC official.