You could soon take a fast train from CST to Navi Mumbai. The Central Railway’s proposed fast-train corridor on the harbour line will run almost parallel to the new Eastern Freeway.
While the railway line will go all the way to Panvel, the freeway will end at Ghatkopar to join the highway.
There is also a tentative plan to link the corridor with the under construction Nhava-Sheva sea link and connect it till Uran.
The freeway, being built by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), consists of an elevated road from P D’Mello Road parallel to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) right up till Anik to connect with the Eastern Express Highway.
The 60-km rail link, partially elevated, will start from Carnac Bunder and will end at Panvel.
While the Central Railway has submitted the proposal to the state government for its approval because land acquisition will be required, the state is said to have sought funding from the World Bank to get the project completed in time for the new Panvel airport.
Railway officials said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who holds the transport portfolio, and Central Railway’s general manager Kul Bhushan, who also holds a powerful position in New Delhi, have shown a keen interest in the project and it would soon see the light of the day.
Discussions are on the practicalities of implementing the project. “There is no space along the existing corridor as it passes through dense localities. A new line towards the east side was the only practical idea. Earlier, trains used to run all the way till Ballard Pier and this is a revival of the same old corridor,” said an official.
“The new corridor will have a new set of trains, either air-conditioned or like the existing ones, and a new bridge over the creek. But all this will require a separate budget and probably a separate budget head or an independent body to get it implemented,” he added.
“These things could be a part of the third phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project that is still at the planning stage,” he added.
By Rajendra Aklekar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA