The most important part of linking up rail lines on the 13-year-old Thane-Kurla additional railway line project will be undertaken in the next two weeks.
The Central Railway (CR) has closed an important level crossing at Vikhroli station to traffic since March 25 to complete work on the rail link.
This is the first time that a level crossing has been closed for such a long period.
The railway plans to finish work by April 10.
“The lines at either end of the Vikhroli station — one coming from Thane and the other from Kurla — are ready. The huge gap remained at Vikhroli due to several problems, delaying the entire project. But we have resolved to finish the work fast,” said a senior official working on the project, requesting anonymity.
“The only part remaining would be connecting these lines to the main line at Kurla Terminus. It will be done later,” he added.
The next 10 days will see heavy-duty activity in the zone — right from clearing the debris to flattening the surface and laying the line.
Trucks and excavators have been lined up and work is going on round-the-clock. The lines will then be electrified and linked. “A number of railway departments will be working in conjunction to complete the task on time,” the official said.
The two separate lines will increase the capacity of the suburban network, as they would segregate the local train tracks from that of outstation trains.
SC Mudgerikar, chief spokesperson, CR, confirmed the development.
“The on-going work will be the most important part of linking up the tracks from either sides. The deadline for this project is June 2010. The lines will later be connected to the main lines and thrown open to traffic,” he said.
The Rs 166-crore project falls under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project and has been selected as a part of the Prime Minister flagship programme in 2008, said Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) officials. The MRVC is coordinating the project.
Flagship programmes are regularly reviewed by the Delivery Monitoring Unit set up in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to monitor “flagship programmes and iconic projects.”
The unit ensures trouble-shooting through periodic reviews, informs the Prime Minister every quarter on the performance, evaluate the impact and make sure that information on programmes are in the public domain.
Work on the 13-year-old project of two separate 17-km lines between Kurla and Thane has been held up several times because of various reasons, most of them related to encroachment.