This weekend's mega 72-hour block on Central Railway put on hold

Good News Mumbaikars! The mega 72-hours block on Central Railway planned for this weekend has been kept on hold.

Sources said that there is lot of planning that still needs to be done and therefore they will be deferring before announcing the dates. The long pending work at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) was to be carried out by Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation but permissions are with the Central Railway (CR).

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus currently caters to 1,647 suburban train services and approximately 50 long distance trains. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

"We had not declared any official date for carrying out the mega block. Whatever small works that would not affect the train services, would be carried out during the weekend at night," said A Ojha, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway.

At present the pre-block works were underway and it could be seen at CST station. Sources said that as per the plan, they had also made a detailed plan where per-day works had been decided. But then at the last moment it is being postponed.

The authorities have not decided the new dates when this mega work would be carried out -- again for a period of 72 hours.

Senior officials said that the most likely reason for the postponement is the 'Make In India' programme for which PM Narendra Modi will be in Mumbai along with foreign delegates. "This work would create lot of trouble to people at large. And any kind of inconvenience could attract eyeballs internationally," said another official on condition of anonymity.

As per the earlier plans, certain services to CST from Wadala would have been closed between February 12 and 14. While on the other hand, one of the slow lines (bound for platform 3, CST) on Central Main was to be closed from Byculla. This would have resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of train services.

The work is meant for extending the Harbour line — which can presently hold only nine cars — to accommodate 12-car trains. This upgrade will boost carrying capacity by 33 per cent. The Rs 800-crore project will involve several improvements to CST, as well as the extension of Harbour line platforms (number 2 and 3) by 65 meters.

The last such major block was in August 2009, when services were halted for 48 hours as the 141-year-old Masjid Road Over Bridge was demolished. Recently, an 18-hour block was executed during the demolition of the Hancock bridge.

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