When the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) announced the Seawoods-Belapur-Uran railway project in 1997, areas along the proposed route began to develop rapidly in anticipation.
In anticipation of the rail corridor, areas along the proposed route, especially in Uran, have seen substantial development over the years. File pic
However, it is only now 17 years later that the project might finally see the light of day, with the planning agency inviting design proposals for stations on the corridor.
CIDCO officials told mid-day on Monday that they have received applications from six design consultancies that are interested in designing the stations on the corridor, which will connect residents of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Uran, to Mumbai and Thane by rail.
With the town-planning agency having issued tenders in August, the six agencies vying for the project are expected to submit their designs by January 2015. S A Bokade, railway superintendent engineer at CIDCO, said, “We have suggested that the designers come up with designs by the first week of January.
The consultants will also submit quotations for the project and we will take a final decision based on the design and the cost estimates.” This development follows a series of hurdles that the project has met with over the years.
In fact, CIDCO is yet to overcome another major roadblockit is yet to acquire a 4-km stretch of land between two of the stations, Kharkopar and Ranjanpada, which is why the civic body has divided the project into two phases.
Of the 27-km corridor, the first phase covers five stations Seawoods, Sagar Sangam, Targhar, Bamandongri and Kharkopar. While Seawoods station has already been developed, the designers have been asked to submit proposals for the remaining four in the first phase.
“An approximately 4-km stretch between Kharkopar and Ranjanpada stations is yet to be acquired from the forest department. Hence we are currently speeding up the first phase of the project,” said Bokade.
>> The plan for the rail corridor depicts clearly the stretch of unacquired land (in blue) between Kharkopar and Ranjanpada. Until CIDCO acquires the land from the forest department, it will not be able to move ahead with phase two of the already long-pending project.
>> The project was proposed in 1997, when the estima-ted cost was Rs 495 crore
>> The project has been delayed by 17 years, with costs spiralling up to Rs 1,800 crore now
>> The plan has been divided into two phases, phase I is scheduled to end in December 2017 and phase II in 2018
>> The corridor has 10 proposed stations, spanning 27 km
>> Phase I will cover the first five stations on the line
>> Phase II will include the remaining five