Mumbai: 4th railway line between Kalyan and Asangaon on CR cards
To boost local train connectivity of Mumbai with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Central Railway (CR) will begin construction work of a fourth railway line between Kalyan and Asangaon railway stations.
Construction work for a new railway platform to accommodate 15 compartment local trains, along with extension of the existing platforms and construction of a new foot overbridge will be undertaken by the Central Railway post-monsoon.
The 26km of new railway line from Kalyan to Asangaon railway station is a part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) 3A. The project is expected to cost ₹1,759 crore.
Once completed, the Central Railway will be able to operate additional local train services along with 15 compartment train services between Kalyan and Asangaon railway stations. The zonal railway will also be able to increase local train services between the two railway stations as presently only two railway lines are operational. “The construction work will be carried out in connection with the 15 compartment work beyond Kalyan railway station,” said Shivaji Sutar, chief public relation officer, Central Railway.
The existing railway lines operate local, outstation and freight trains.
Kalyan railway station on the Central Railway is a busy station as it operates both suburban and outstation trains. Before the pandemic 500,000 commuters travelled daily from Kalyan and 200,000 passengers commuted daily from Asangaon railway station.
“Segregation of outstation and local trains will be possible once the construction work is completed and crossovers have been laid. This would help in decongesting the train traffic at Kalyan railway station significantly,” said a senior Central Railway official.
Urban planners have stated that as the population has moved towards north of Mumbai, the railway line corridor will help in decongestion of the existing stressed railway network.
“The commencement of the work on the railway line is a positive step as the population has shifted from south Mumbai towards the northern part of the city. The railway lines will help in segregation of outstation and local trains and reduce congestion. However, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) should undertake land development either industrial or commercial around the area to create jobs for people residing there,” said urban planner Sulakshana Mahajan.
Passenger associations have cited that the construction of the railway lines should be done speedily. “Mumbai is overburdened and it is the need of the hour to construct the new railway lines as people are shifting outside the city. The work on the project should be done quickly,” said Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad.
Meanwhile, a MUTP approved project for segregation of outstation and local train traffic by creation of two railway lines between CSMT and Kurla railway stations has hit a roadblock. The project — fifth and sixth railway lines that was approved in 2010 has not yet been completed and has land acquisition issues ahead of Parel railway station. The Central Railway is undertaking construction for the additional railway lines between Kurla and Parel and reconstruction work of a bridge near Sion railway station. The zonal railway has now written to the Maharashtra government to assist in the construction work of the railway line beyond Parel railway station.
“Construction work on phase one of the project up till Parel is going on. However, we have written to the state government seeking assistance for the railway lines ahead of Parel. Land acquisition issue is a concern for the construction of railway lines ahead of Parel. If the acquisition issue is cleared the railway lines will likely be brought to the P’D Mello entrance of CSMT.” said a senior Central Railway official.
Transport experts have stated that the railways should look into the requirement of having the fifth and sixth railway line up to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).
“As people are unable to afford housing in the city, the construction of the fourth railway line will help ease the bottleneck for people residing ahead of Kalyan, Asangaon and Kasara. The railways should look into the requirement of the fifth- sixth railway line up till CSMT. Trains on the Central Railway could terminate at Kurla and on the Western Railway at Bandra. Terminating all outstation trains in the island city should be restricted. A thorough geographic study and checking of commuting patterns needs to be undertaken.” said transport expert AV Shenoy.
Passenger associations have stated that they have raised the concern for the construction of the railway lines between CSMT and Kurla and have asked the railway officials to complete the project soon. “We have discussed with the railway officials on the pending construction work of the railway lines that would segregate the local and outstation train traffic. The project should be completed soon in coordination with the state government.” added Gupta.