For those not blessed with fat salaries, living in Mumbai increasingly means living on the periphery of the city. One of the world’s 10 most costliest cities to live in, residents of the city desperately need better transportaion systems and connectivity to travel from far flung places into town.

Always a little late to wake up, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has however, finally come up with a cracker of a proposal to develop rail connectivity between the city’s far flung areas such as Panvel, Kalwa, Vasai and Karjat by constructing new rail lines. The budget for this ambitious plan is a humongous Rs 37,977 crore.

The first of these projects would be the elevated Airoli-Kalwa line that will enhance connectivity between those staying in Kalyan and Panvel in Navi Mumbai. This R336 crore project comes under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) phase-3 that will develop new routes to strengthen the existing rail corridor.

Map/Vijay Pednekar

An elevated line
“The Airoli-Kalwa line is slated to be eight km-long and would be a completely elevated line,” said a senior railway official. This will be in addition to the existing Trans-Harbour Thane-Vashi link. Other new plans in the pipeline include extending the Panvel-Karjat route and construction of a new line connecting Virar-Vasai-Panvel.

“All the new corridors will boost rail connectivity across the Central, Harbour and Western lines. We will have to plan from now, as it will take time to get the go ahead from different agencies,” said an official from MRVC. The corporation is doubling lines, (addition of two more tracks on a route) on the Borivali-Virar, Virar-Dahanu, Kalyan-Kasara and Kalyan-Karjat lines. The projects will be carried out in a phased manner

>> New rail lines to be constructed in the far suburbs
>> Total rail lines to be augmented to the tune of Rs 37,977 crore
>> First phase work pegged at Rs 5403 crore