In a set back to the Central Railways’ proposed elevated corridor from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Kalyan, the railway board has said that it wants to assess the project requirement before giving its nod for the pre-feasibility study for the corridor.
The board has asked Central Railway to examine the impact of other proposed suburban corridors — Churchgate– Virar and CST-Panvel — on this project.
CR had sought the Railway board’s approval for a preliminary study for the 55-km CST-Kalyan elevated corridor, the estimated cost of which is Rs. 20,000 crore.
After reviewing the plan, the board — the apex body governing zonal railway divisions — turned down the request saying: “It is desired that the prima facie need of such a project should be examined.”
“The railway board has also asked that the impact study be expedited,” said a senior railway official.
In the 2012-13 budget, former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi had announced the pre-feasibility study of the CST-Kalyan corridor and had also sought a similar study for the Virar-Diva-Panvel and the CST-Panvel elevated corridors.
Explaining the possible reasons behind the board’s decision, a senior railway official said that the growth of passengers on the Harbour line and the Virar-Panvel stretch is more than that on the main line.
Additionally, the state has planned several development projects in Navi Mumbai, including the new airport. Therefore, the need for additional services could be greater on the Harbour line.
As a result, the CST-Kalyan corridor may not attract enough passengers.
As a part of the ambitious Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), two more railway lines will be added between CST and Kalyan to segregate the suburban and non-suburban traffic. Also work is underway to convert 1,200 volt direct current to 2,5000 volt alternate current. This will mean more trains can run on the main line, carrying more passengers, which again will hurt the proposed elevated corridor.