Mumbai’s Parel to get ₹700-crore outstation terminus
Authorities plan grand outstation train terminus, with better amenities, ten platforms and an elevated roadUpdated: Feb 16, 2019, 07:47 IST
Technological upgrade, more amenities, and a hike in budget to ₹700 crore from the earlier ₹193crore, the central railway’s (CR) long-distance terminus plan at Parel just got bigger and better. The terminus is expected to help scores of passengers from the station and reduce the congestion at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), making way for more suburban services.
The earlier plan was approved in the Union budget of 2018-2019. “The final design for the terminus is being looked into, after which the proposal will be sent to the railway board for approval. The construction department of the railways is working on it,” said a senior CR official.
Under the plan, 10 platforms will be revamped to handle more than 50 long-distance (24-coach) trains.
A three-lane elevated road has been planned, with an additional lane for pedestrians or in case of an emergency. The road will start from the CR’s ground at Parel and go up to the proposed terminus. Further, 150-m decks for passenger movement, similar to Borivli and Andheri stations on the western railway (WR), are being planned with food courts. The plan will include creation of bigger circulating area with designated access to specially abled passengers; foot overbridges (FOBs) connecting the long-distance terminus to the suburban one, and Parel Road (Tulsi Pipe Road); and multi-level parking, with separate slots for two- and four-wheelers.
While officials refuse to comment on record, another CR official said: “The Parel terminus will not just help in taking the pressure off CSMT, but will also help in improving operations of suburban local trains. Terminating and starting long-distance trains at Parel will streamline the local services.”
The terminus is proposed to be built on CR’s land, by shifting its Parel workshop. Built in 1879, the workshop, one of the CR’s oldest, is spread over 19 acres adjoining the railway lines. It was initially used for steam engines and later to manufacture and assemble diesel locomotives. Currently, maintenance of long-distance trains is undertaken periodically at the workshop.
Some railway officials feel the plan could lead to chaos. “We had planned a long-distance terminus earlier too, but soon realised it would be chaotic for passengers to reach the station. Instead of Parel, CR should focus on developing a mega terminus at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), as it is connected to all parts of the city,” said Subodh Jain, former railway board member and former general manager of CR.
Meanwhile, the construction of the ₹51-crore suburban railway terminus at Parel is in its final stage and expected to be functional by March. Suburban local trains will be operated to and from Parel railway station and are expected to ease the crowd at Dadar and Kurla stations.
Passenger associations have welcomed the move. “The suburban and long-distance termini will help passengers in the future as commuters have shifted to the north. They won’t have to come till CSMT to board an outstation train,” said Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatra Parishad.