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State govt wants to prioritise Metro Line 3 over Elevated Corridor

Officials from Indian Railways and the state are expected to meet today to discuss the future of the Oval Maidan-Virar Elevated Corridor and Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro Line

The Rs 25,000-crore Western Railway Elevated Corridor has been in cold storage for the last few months, after the disagreement between the Indian Railways and the state government. However, the recent change at the Centre and the new Minister of Railways have given the project a shot in the arm. A meeting between the Chairman of Railway Board, Arunendra Kumar and the Chief Secretary of the state J Saharia is expected to take place today.

Sources told mid-day that the main topic on the agenda will be the future of Oval Maidan-Virar Elevated Rail Corridor. While the Indian Railways has been backing the need for the alternate air-conditioned rail corridor, the state has been pushing for Line 3 of the Mumbai Metro, Colaba-Bandra-Seepz, claiming that the proposed elevated rail and metro will run parallel after covering a certain route, reducing the need for that stretch of the rail corridor.

A senior railway official, on the condition of anonymity said, “The state wants us to consider the route between Virar and Bandra.” In order to check the feasibility of the proposal, a study comparing the two lines was commissioned. The report has been submitted to the state government and the Planning Commission.

What the report says?
The Oval Maidan-Virar Elevated Corridor is expected to cater to around nine lakh passengers, based on the studies conducted in 2013. If the rail route is cut short by nearly one-third, till Bandra, the number of passengers per day will come down to 5.5 lakh.

“With a drop in the number of passengers by nearly 39 per cent, it will not remain a financially viable project,” informed another railway official. The proposal by the government states that the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro will takeover the reins of transportation further south.

Railway officials claim that this plan may burden Bandra station further, with an expected additional daily footfall of at least three lakh passengers. Sources say that in its present state, the station will not be able to manage the additional commuters.

Officialspeak
“We will decide based on our meeting with Railway Board officials. There are other pending issues with the central government and the railways that also need to be sorted,” said J Saharia, Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, when asked about the meeting with Railway officials.

About Colaba-Bandra-seepz line
Mumbai Metro line-3 will be a 32.5 km corridor, running from Cuffe Parade station in South Mumbai to SEEPZ in the suburbs. It will have 26 stations

Passenger reduction on elevated corridor

7.1%
Once the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro line is ready

23.2%
After the Dahisar-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro lines is also ready

39.4%
If the elevated corridor ends at Bandra

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