Sanjay Raut cautions against dismantling of Khar-Bandra rail bridge

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has written a letter to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, saying the proposed dismantling of an old rail bridge at Khar-Bandra would lead to 'mega block for months' that could 'jeopardise' the lifeline of the Mumbai city.

The WR plans to dismantle the old rail bridge between Khar and Bandra stations and erect a new one close to it. Raut, in his letter written last week, also suggested that instead of constructing a new bridge near the same location, a new bridge should be built at Mahim, the junction of Harbour line and Western line suburban train services.

"A new bridge should be built at Mahim that would connect Harbour line services coming from King Circle to west side of Mahim," Raut said in his letter.

"If railway wants to make a new bridge, then Mahim station would be the most suitable place which has sufficient landscape for the extension of the fifth and sixth line. It would help railway to shift the entire Harbour line services in west side, which is right now partly in east side (from Mahim to Bandra) and partly in west (from Bandra to Andheri)," the letter mentioned.

"If the railways does so, then it would eliminate the chances of constructing new bridge at Bandra and would save lot of railway land that could be used in future for extension of Bandra Terminus or suburban services," Raut said. He also suggested to use the "dead" platforms of Mahim by shifting the slow corridors of WR.

"Currently, Mahim station has six platforms to cater the operational needs of WR and Harbour lines. But, platform no 3 and 4 are dead as these are never used. Slow corridor of WR could be shifted at these two dead platforms which would free the platform 1 and 2, which could be used for the Harbour line services," he said.

A new bridge needs to be built at Mahim, where sufficient land is available and would be a less tedious process for the railways. Raut told PTI that if his suggestions are accepted, it will help railways to save cost and time.

"Can we forget the hardships faced by lakhs of commuters of the city during 72-hour megablock undertaken between Wadala and CST recently. One can imagine what would happen during the dismantling of Bandra-Khar bridge, and for how long.

"Hence, I have made suggestions that would eventually be helpful not only to railways, but also to lakhs of passengers," he said.

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