It cost the state exchequer over Rs 430 crore to construct the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, the flyover that is finally set to open after a 10-year lag. Work on the proposed Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro line is progressing slowly. Its cost will run into several hundred crore.
Yet, if those in the corridors of power had acted on a proposal submitted in the 1980s to construct a railway line connecting Bandra in the west with Kurla in the east of Mumbai — not only would a fortune have been saved, the trains could have carried twice the number of passengers compared to the Metro coaches. Now, with the link road and the metro line at various stages of construction, the rail link plan has been trashed. What happened?
Rail officials say that the metro rail coaches can’t carry half the numbers that a train can. “The rail link could have eased the load at Dadar, Bandra and Kurla stations,” said a Western Railway official. While the link road will ease some of the congestion, executives travelling to Bandra-Kurla Complex will be wondering about what could have been.