Did Make in India halt Central Railway's 72-hour megablock?
CR has postponed the massive block planned for this weekend; senior officials say the upcoming Make in India week could be a probable reason
The mega 72-hour block planned by Central Railway (CR) for this weekend has been kept on hold. Sources said a lot of planning regarding the repair and upgrade work still has to be done and hence, CR would be referring to various departments before announcing the dates.
Recently, on January 10, CR had enforced an 18-hour block during the demolition of the Hancock Bridge. FILE PIC
Senior officials said the most likely reason for the postponement is the ‘Make In India’ week that starts from Feb 13, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending in Mumbai along with foreign delegates. "This work would trouble people and any kind of inconvenience could attract eye balls internationally," said another official.
A stretch of the highway in Bandra is being beautified with murals for the upcoming Make in India week. PIC/Sameer Markande
As per the earlier plan, certain services to CST from Wadala were to be closed between February 12 and 14 for the repairs. One of the slow lines (bound for platform 3, CST) on Central Main line was going to be closed from Byculla. This would have resulted in cancellation of hundreds of train services.
The repairs are meant for extending the Harbour line — which now holds nine car trains — to accommodate 12 car trains. This upgrade will boost the 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. This work was to be carried out by Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation, but the permissions lie with CR.
"We had not declared any date for carrying out the mega block. Whatever works that would not affect train services, would be carried out during the weekend at night," said A Ojha, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), CR.
Currently, the pre-block work can be observed at CST station. Sources said they had earlier made a plan detailing the amount of work to be done per day. As of now the authorities have not zeroed down on any new dates for the 72-hour mega block.
The last time such a long mega block was held was in August 2009, when services were halted for 48 hours as the 141-year-old Masjid Road over bridge was demolished. Recently, on Jan 10, an 18-hour block was enforced to demolish the Hancock Bridge.