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Finish laying 5th, 6th lines between Thane and Diva by March 2019: railway board

Over the years, deadlines for the project, which was sanctioned in 2008, have been repeatedly missed.

mumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2018 11:50 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,CR,Central Railway
The project is crucial for the Central Railway (CR) as it will be a key factor in segregating the outstation and local train rail corridor and thus improve the speed/frequency of trains.(HT FILE)

A 10-year-old delayed project—laying fifth and sixth rail lines between Thane and Diva—was in focus in a review meeting chaired by Railway Board chief Ashwani Lohani. Lohani asked officials of the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), which is constructing the lines between Thane and Diva, to complete the project within the set deadline of March 2019 and not to set a new deadline. Over the years, deadlines for the project have been repeatedly missed and new deadlines have been set.

The project, which was sanctioned in 2008, is a part of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP 2B) and is crucial for the Central Railway (CR) as it will be a key factor in segregating the outstation and local train rail corridor and thus improve the speed/frequency of trains.

CR officials raised the concern that deadlines for the project have been repeatedly missed and local trains are repeatedly delayed due to this, which also impacts on the punctuality of the suburban railway section. The first deadline was December 2015, which was later revised to December 2017. Now, it is March 2019.

The initial cost of the project was stated to be ₹130 crore. However, the present cost is nearly ₹420 crore.

Lohani directed MRVC officials to complete the project within the set deadline and asked the body not to set a new deadline. Expedition of approval for the suburban railway projects at railway board will also be done.

“The Thane-Diva stretch is crucial as a lot of outstation and local trains pass by through it. The work on the project has been very slow and that is the reason the issue was raised in the review meeting. It has been asked to complete the work within the deadline,” said a senior central railway official who did not wish to be named.

Currently there are six railway lines between Kalyan and Diva and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) and Thane. However, between Thane and Diva there are only four lines, which results in intercrossing of local and outstation trains. The segregation of lines used by local and outstation trains is important to improve the speed and frequency of suburban trains and make the journey slightly better.

Passenger associations have stated that despite raising the issue with railway authorities, nothing concrete has been done. “We met the MRVC chairman four months ago over the issue. There are lakhs of commuters who travel every day and get delayed because of this. However, the response we got from the railway authorities was that a technical error has delayed the project and the work will be completed in March 2019. Indian Railways should take serious action and make the officers accountable for the delay in the project,” Lata Mishra, vice-president, Railway Pravasi Mahasangh.

Discussions on fifth and sixth line between Kurla and Parel stations and review of work of Parel Terminus was also done at the meeting. The Parel Terminus will completely segregate the outstation trains from the local trains and many local trains will be terminated there. Work on increasing of speed of passenger outstation trains as well as goods trains is going on.

Lohani also inspected the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) on Monday. He directed the railway officials to put up boards displaying certain ‘meeting points’ categorised by numbers at the station, which would help passengers to convey their location to friends and relatives when necessary.

While inaugurating the childline help desk at the CSMT Terminus, Lohani asked railway officials to conduct workshops and classes on gender sensitisation of motormen and station masters as they deal with commuters on a regular basis.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 11:49 IST