Railway officials from the city are making last minute rounds to New Delhi in hope to get clearance for projects in the forthcoming Railway Budget to be held on February 25.
Introduction of 12-coach trains on this line is on the priority list of railway officials who feel that the augmentation in the carrying capacity of commuters on the harbour line is important. Around 10 lakh commuters ply everyday on the stretch between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Panvel. The conversion of every 9-coach train into a 12-coach train would help them carry about 33% more commuters in each train. Presently, there are only two slow lines and every year there is rise in commuters by 7%.
The proposal for approving this project was sent in November to the Railway Board, which officials believe should have been submitted by August 2010. "We want to ensure that at least this project receives funds in the budget," said a railway official on condition of anonymity.
The Rs725 crore proposal sent to the board includes the procurement of more coaches to convert the 9-coach train car to 12-coach, getting rolling stocks for this purpose and improving the power supply and allied equipment for converting it from 1500-volt Direct Current to 25000-volt Alternating Current.
Officials also seek approvals for MUTP projects like fifth and sixth lines on Thane-Diva stretch and sixth line on Mumbai Central-Borivli stretch.
Commuter problems would escalate if the proposal does not get required funds in this year's budget. If the proposal fails, railway officials would have to resubmit a proposal to start services for commuters between Kurla and Panvel.
"There was a proposal to start services to Panvel from Kurla which was placed on a backburner due to operational reasons. This would have brought relief to commuters as those who wanted to make a changeover to the central line prefer a Kurla-bound train," said a CR official.