Times of India
The techno-economic feasibility study for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus-Panvel high-speed corridor has pegged the project’s cost at Rs 11,000 crore. It has recommended 9-car services for the corridor and a travel time of 45 minutes by 2019, as against the present 77 minutes.
Rail India Technical and Economic Services Limited (RITES) presented an interim report to the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), which will execute the project in association with the state government through a publicprivate partnership. The corridor will establish rail connectivity between South Mumbai and the Navi Mumbai international airport.
The consultant has recommended halts at 10 destinations, including Navi Mumbai airport. A senior MRVC official said, “It will halt at select stations on the Harbour line and can attain a maximum speed of 110 kmph to ensure faster transportation of commuters. Halts have been identified according to the importance of stations or where the interchange facility is available through the rail, metro or mono networks.”
The frequency of train services is estimated at 4.5-5 minutes. The official said, “It will ensure at least 14 services per hour. Due to the continuous automatic train control (CATC), headway can be improved without compromising on safety.”
The system is expected to have 21,000 peak hour-peak direction (PHPD) trips by 2019 and 39,000 by 2031. The official said, “We expect a 30% shift from the suburban line and 20% shift from road traffic once operations begin on the corridor.”
The corridor will run on broad gauge, with each coach having a capacity of around 350 passengers. Unlike the seat position in existing rakes, coaches for the proposed corridor will have a longitudinal design, similar to the Delhi Metro.
The new terminal for the service will come towards the east of CST.
The official said, “The elevated route will follow P D’Mello Road/Barrister Nath Pai Marg and will enter railway land just short of Reay Road between the existing track and under-construction eastern freeway. It will be at an elevated level up to Mankhurd, from where it will take the ground level up to Panvel and the Navi Mumbai international airport.”
RITES also identified spots where station buildings can come up. The official said, “The alignment will be more or less final, barring minor changes in the final report that will be submitted a few months later. The project’s financial model will soon be submitted too.”
The CST-Panvel corridor alignment will skirt Navi Mumbai airport.
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