Mumbai: Land problems block crucial sixth line on Western Railway

Authorities have been trying to acquire land from the state government and the BMC at Vile Parle, Malad and Borivli to lay the sixth line between Mumbai Central and Borivli to service long-distance trains

Acquiring land has been a major hindrance to the Western Railway (WR) in making progress towards adding the sixth railway line between Mumbai Central and Borivli. The impasse between WR and the state government has led to the Rs 1,050-crore project to come to a standstill.

WR requires nearly 1,700 square metres of land at four places: Vile Parle (south and north ends), Malad (west side), and Borivli (south end). This is to be acquired from the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

All the plots are close to the railway station, and are required to lay the crucial line 6, which is meant to service long-distance trains. For instance, the railways have been in touch with the suburban collector’s office for over two years now.

“We had sent the application for procuring 1,178 square meters of land in October 2012,” said a WR official on condition of anonymity. WR authorities claim that until now they have paid around Rs 48 lakh to the state government earlier last year for acquiring it.

However, state government officials claim the process of land transfer has begun. “We have already awarded part of the private land to the railways near Vile Parle and Andheri. There are buildings and shops near Malad and Borivli that need to be removed,” said Suburban Collector Shekhar Channe.

Officials added that they had sent men for the demolition of the structures, but a few of the owners got a stay order from the court and the matter has gone into litigation. WR requires 550 square metres on the southern end of Vile Parle station from BMC.

A BMC road on the plot will be absorbed into the project. A BMC official said there is no encroachment on the said land. “We are working on procuring land for the sixth line,” said Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager (Mumbai), Western Railway.

Off the tracks
>> WR requires more than 1,700 square metres of land at four places: Vile Parle (south and north ends), Malad (west side), and Borivli (south end).

>> The sixth line between Borivli and Mumbai Central is meant to service long-distance trains.

Rs 48 lakh
The amount that Western Railway has paid to the state government for land acquisition

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