Elevated Rail Corridor update
Western Railway (WR) has sought assistance from the state government for acquiring land to complete the Churchgate-Borivli elevated corridor. The project was announced by former railway minister Lalu Prasad in the 2008 budget. WR officials held a meeting with senior Maharashtra state officials to discuss the project. Principal secretary of Urban Development (UD) T C Benjamin said, “The track will be elevated from Virar to Mahalaxmi, but when it moves southwards, the corridor will not have enough space. It will either have to be built underground or would follow another route as there are many buildings en route. Besides, the railways are planning to take the corridor to Nariman Point.’’ According to UD officials, land would have to be acquired for this. Besides, a huge plot of land will have to be given at Virar for the depot. “We will write to the traffic police, BMC, MMRDA and revenue department seeking their objections and suggestions once the railways give a detailed plan,’’ said Benjamin. At present, it takes a little more than an hour-and-a-half for the journey from Churchgate to Virar. The corridor is expected to reduce the travel time. Senior officials said that they wanted it to be a fast service. “We will have AC coaches and the corridor will definitely be faster than the present one. The cost of the project and timeframe are still to be worked out,’’ said Brijesh Dixit, chief engineer (constructions) of WR. The railways has sought the BMC’s help for approaches to the elevated corridor stations. “We are planning to build the stations on a public- private partnership basis,’’ Dixit added.