WR eyes Shakti Mills land for new track
After receiving a lot of negative press following the gang rape of a photojournalist and a call centre employee last year, the area around Shakti Mills in Mahalaxmi has been cleared. The foliage around the mill has been flattened out while the darkened walls adjoining the foliage have been demolished. And now, this area is being eyed by the Western Railways for a new railway track.
Railway authorities want to build a sixth line across the mill premises for long-distance trains under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project, which is funded by the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation. Authorities said the work would be carried out in two phases and that the work at the mill area would fall under the second phase.
Currently, long-distance trains ply on the fifth line, which is adjacent to the suburban rail corridor. However, officials want the sixth line to pass through the barren land at the mill premises. Speaking about the development, a senior WR official said, “The new line will pass through Shakti Mills at Mahalaxmi. This is the only place where we will have to acquire land, as in all other areas, land belongs to the Railways.”
First phase of work
Speaking further about their plans, an official said that in the first phase, work would be carried out between Borivli and Bandra Terminus. This would include clearing slums along rail tracks, requesting acquisition of government and private land after demolishing them, and also clearing their own structures like residential buildings that might come along this proposed alignment. Sources said that the work on the new track would require them to relocate more than 700 people.
“We have to undertake land acquisition at nearly five locations, with an area of 2,000 square metres in total,” said another WR official, adding that some of areas where land has been acquired are Malad (700 square metres) and Vile Parle (120 square metres). Only once they finish this work, will they start on the second phase from Bandra Terminus to Mumbai Central in which they would build the track at Shakti Mills.
Rs 1,049 crore
Cost of building the additional track in 2013-14