The city’s overburdened lifeline, the local train, could receive some relief as the state government has decided to introduce multi-modal railway corridors. Railway officials said that there will be a road network running parallel along the CST-Panvel and Bandra-Virar elevated rail lines. However, there is no clarity yet on whether there will be revision in the plans for elevated rail corridors to accommodate the road network as well.
The multi-modal corridor has been proposed to ease congestion on the overburdened central and western railway lines. Pic for representation
During yesterday’s meeting with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, CM Devendra Fadnavis discussed the possibility of having a road network running parallel to the proposed elevated rail lines. The Indian Railways have proposed the Bandra-Virar and CST-Panvel corridors, whose feasibility reports have also been prepared. The state has decided to go ahead with the corridor connecting both central and western suburbs with the island city. In addition to this, the Niti Aayog has approved the Virar-Vasai-Panvel suburban rail corridor.
“The multi-modal corridor will include road and rail that will connect the suburbs with Mumbai. This was much needed as the burden was falling on the local trains, which are operating at the fullest,” said a railway official.
Now, the state has proposed having roads running parallel to these rail networks all through the same alignment. The heavy vehicular traffic is already causing delays for Mumbaikars and an alternative route is the only way out.
MMRDA’s corridor in limbo
Even as the state government proposes a multi-modal corridor for the railways, a similar project of the MMRDA to connect Virar with Alibaug has been in the planning stage since 2012, but there hasn’t been much progress. Over a year ago, the land acquisition procedure was started. The 126 km-long corridor requires 1,250 hectare of land. While MMRDA has started the documentation process with urban development department, the actual land acquisition has not started yet. The project costs over Rs 1,000 crore and MMRDA will be constructing the project in phases. The first phase will se a 79 km-construction from Navghar to Chirner.