Union railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has firmed up plans for awarding civil contracts this year for constructing the Churchgate-Virar elevated rail corridor at a cost of Rs 21,000 crore.
The rail corridor plan is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s dream project, and one of the biggest ones to be undertaken under the PPP mode.
The railways will shortly move a note to the Union cabinet seeking approval for the project.
“Fresh alignments finalised by the railways have eliminated the need to demolish buildings [proposed in the earlier design] and the three short-listed vendors — GMR
Infra, L&T and the IL&FS — have expressed satisfaction with the new plan,” said Mahesh Kumar, general manager, Western Railway.
The railways have forwarded a draft of a state-support agreement to the government for running the 60km-long double track elevated corridor. It will have will have 28 stations and capacity of running eight-coach AC trains in each direction with 90 seconds frequency. A 20km route will be underground.
“The state support agreement on the shifting of civil utilities will be signed this month and the request for qualification (RFQs) will be floated by April,” Kumar said.
Detailing on the usage of the Floor Space Index —for commercialisation of available land along the corridor — will be spelt out in the budget, sources said.
It is likely that the entire project, including design, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance, will be awarded to one vendor.
Ninety-five percent of the land required for the project has been acquired, while the railways have also finalised plans for rehabilitating 1,700 persons likely to be affected by the project.