Railway stations in Mumbai may soon double up as offices and shopping complexes.
A proposal to build commercial complexes at stations such as Marine Lines, Dadar, Mahim, Bandra and Borivli was discussed in a meeting between chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and minister of state for Railways, KH Muniyappa, on Friday.
Chavan gave his nod to the plan and also agreed to grant more floor space index (area which can be built upon), for the purpose.
In addition, the CM cleared sale of land at Bandra (East), which was locked in an ownership dispute.
Two-third of the proceeds from the sale of the prime land would be used for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), which is aimed at upgrading infrastructure of mass transport in the city.
“The CM insisted that a share of the revenue from sale of these complex buildings should be used to build better infrastructure in the city,” said principal secretary T C Benjamin.
The redevelopment of these stations will be based on the Navi Mumbai model, where there are multi-storey buildings, housing offices and shops.
Chavan also requested Muniyappa to take up the Rs750 crore capacity expansion of the harbour railway on priority basis. This would involve converting all nine-car rakes to 12-car and increasing the length of platforms.
Chavan pointed out that augmenting the capacity of the harbour line was necessary, as it would help the government de-congest the city. The harbour line is the mainstay of many commuters who work in the city, but live in Navi Mumbai.
In an interaction with commuters and their associates at Borivli, Muniyappa committed to extending the platforms at Dahisar station and implementing a passenger reservation system (PRS) at Kandivli station.
“I will ensure that platforms at Dahisar are extended within three months, to accommodate 15-car trains,” said Muniyappa at the public function, held at Borivli station. He also said that three more FOBs between Andheri and Dahisar would begin soon.
Muniyamma, however, did not make any assurances with regard to the other demands raised at the interaction.
Muniyappa said that the deadline for completion of the much-awaited Virar-Dahanu stretch, for suburban locals, has been extended further. “There is a problem of coaches and so it might take nearly a year to start services on Virar-Dahanu. It is being manufactured at various coach factories,” he said.