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An easier commute from Kurla?

Commuters travelling to and from Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) will have a lot to thank railways for, if this proposed plan finds approval. The Railways are looking at building ‘Y’ and ‘C’ -shaped elevated rail corridors connecting the Central and Harbour lines. A survey will soon be carried out to find out the feasibility of connecting the Kurla LTT with an elevated rail link with the Central line via Harbour line.

As per plans being drawn, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) will soon carry out this study to verify the possibility of not only extending the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Panvel elevated rail corridor till Thane via Kurla, but also creating another arm that would link Kurla LTT with the Central line. Sources said that Railway Authorities are planning to divert another arm for the CST-Panvel elevated rail corridor, with another elevated rail all the way till Thane from Kurla. Moreover, they are also looking at a small branch, which could be near Ghatkopar and go all the way till Kurla LTT that could resemble the alphabet ‘C’.

 Rakesh Saxena, chairman and managing director, MRVC, told SUNDAY MiD DAY, “We will carry out a survey to check the feasibility of expanding the elevated rail corridor of CST-Panvel till Thane through Kurla. Also, another rail link till Kurla LTT can be looked at starting from the Main line.”  The additional link might begin from Ghatkopar and go all the way till Kurla LTT. “At present, the connectivity to and from Kurla LTT is in a bad condition and commuters keep complaining about it,” said another MRVC official.

In the current scenario, people arriving or departing from Kurla LTT have it tough, as the auto rickshaw and taxi drivers refuse to co-operate with them. Moreover, the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) that partly lands at Kurla LTT, isn’t ready even after 10 years since construction began. Railway officials claim that this proposed link, which will again take some time for construction, would at least provide relief for people in future.

Apart from this, the Kurla-Thane elevated rail corridor would provide some relief to 40-lakh plus daily suburban commuters on the Central Railway. The elevated corridor is likely to bypass the existing main line alignment between CST-Byculla-Dadar-Kurla. Officials added that the proposal appears feasible as only 15 km of the corridor will have to be built to connect Kurla to Thane, and there there is land available at several pockets.

Beyond Thane, the Parsik tunnel could pose issues for taking the elevated rail further. Initially, the CR officials had proposed a separate CST-Kalyan elevated rail, which however has been kept on hold and this is being seen as its alternative. Moreover, they also wanted to scrutinise the working of the Rs 21,000 crore Churchgate-Virar elevated rail corridor which recently underwent changes in its plans. 

The plan
The Railways are looking at converting three parcels of land namely at Bhandup, Nahur and Thane and develop its land or air space for commercial purposes.
It is expected to generate revenues in crores of rupees that could then fund other rail projects in Mumbai. There will be multi-storeyed commercial buildings right next to the rail tracks, thus drastically benefitting people at large. 

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