Mumbai: MMRDA relents to CR, gives up 20 cm height

Central Railway haggled hard over 20 cm of height of the proposed road over bridge at Chunabhatti station and Sion-Kurla stretch, as it would affect the CST-Panvel corridor as well; the Railways finally had their way

BKC-Chunabhatti elevated road

How much is 20 centimetres? Quite insignificant, if you ask the common man, but it means a lot to Central Railway (CR) and the Mumbai Metro-politan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). It turned out to be just the right amount needed to take the BKC-Chunabhatti elevated road project to its next step.

The 1.6-km proposed elevated road is supposed to start at Eastern Express Highway (EEH), cross rail lines at Chunabhatti, between Kurla and Sion, then go over Mithi River and end at BKC. The road will cut down east-west commute time from the current 30 minutes to 10 minutes.

Sometimes it takes even longer if there is traffic at Sion Circle or the Sion-Dharavi link road. The project is set to cost R200 crore and will benefit motorists in the Eastern and Western suburbs, and the 10-lakh commuters on the Harbour line.

However, CR and MMRDA got into a squabble over the height of the road over bridge (ROB) passing over railway tracks at Chunabhatti station and the Sion-Kurla stretch. While MMRDA wanted it to be at a height of 6.5 metres from the railway tracks, CR wanted it at a height of 6.3 metres. Why? Because right above this elevated road, another proposed project, the elevated CST-Panvel corridor, is set to pass.

“The elevated (CST-Panvel) fast corridor will go above Chunabhatti station and this ROB shall be between the two (station and the CST-Panvel corridor),” said a CR official. CR officials contended that this height would also enable easier conversion from 1,500-volt DC to 25,000-volt AC supply of the overhead lines.

The elevated fast corridor needs to be straight and devoid of ups and downs in order to ensure smooth movement of trains. Finally, the MMRDA relented and CR gave the go-ahead to construct the ROB at 6.3 metres above the rail lines. Construction on the BKC-Chunabhatti road is expected to begin early next year, and will take three years for completion.

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