The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has proposed a suburban line connecting Ballard Estate in south Mumbai to Wadala through the port area.
The MRVC – the railway’s infrastructure planning and execution body– submitted a concept plan on the same to the Mumbai Port Trust’s (MbPT) Land Development Committee, chaired by ex-IAS officer Rani Jadhav, on October 10.
The concept plan is based on an old proposal to connect south Mumbai with Wadala via a suburban rail link. If the new suburban line is built, the city would get its fifth line in addition to central, western, harbour and trans-Thane creek (Thane-Vashi) lines.
It will enhance the passenger-accommodating capacity of trains plying between south Mumbai and Panvel as well as south Mumbai and Andheri or Goregaon, thus enabling direct connection with the Central, Western and Navi Mumbai stations. “We have submitted the concept plan to the Mumbai Port Trust,” said Rakesh Saxena, chairman and managing director of MRVC, adding that the MbPT will have to work on the details related to the conceptualised rail line, as it will come up on their land.
In the concept plan, MRVC floated the idea of ending the harbour line corridor at Sandhurst Road station instead of CST, if this new conceptualised line materialises. “If the extra corridor comes into existence, it may give the Central Railway the option of expanding the fifth and sixth rail line up to CST from Kurla, without having to acquire much land,” said Saxena.
The MbPT committee, appointed by union transport and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari, wants to redevelop port land to free some areas to develop urban infrastructure. According to railway officials, their concept plan will help the committee prepare a development plan for the port area by taking mass transport facilities into consideration.
According to MRVC officials, they have asked the MbPT to ensure that the Wadala-Ballard Estate line is close to P D’Mello Road as this will enhance rail-road accessibility for passengers. They have also suggested that the rail link be elevated, so that they the land could be used to develop roads for vehicles to ply on as well as accommodate other urban activities.