28 lakh Mumbaikars will travel in AC locals by 2019

Jan 02, 2013, 08:05 IST | Shashank Rao

New feasibility report of Rs 21,000-crore Oval Maidan-Virar rail project says the air-conditioned line will wean commuters away from overstrained locals and roads

The city’s overburdened rail and road transport, and lakhs of commuters who have no choice but to wriggle their way on it, are in for some help. The Oval Maidan-Virar elevated rail corridor — monitored particularly by the Prime Minister’s Office — will bring relief to 28 lakh Mumbaikars looking for a fast, air-conditioned alternative to the existent creaking transport infrastructure, a revised feasibility study on the project says. 

Oval Maidan
Workable: An aerial view of Oval Maidan

The report
According to the report, once the 63-km rail corridor commences operation by 2019, some 26% of local train commuters will shift to it — half from the ones who currently travel first-class and a fifth from second-class commuters.

Work in progress on the VAG corridor in Andheri

Also, a tenth of passengers using buses, taxis, auto rickshaws and private vehicles will take to it, keeping travel time and comfort in mind.
Together, they tot up to 28 lakh commuters who are estimated to use the new corridor.

Mono Rail
Monorail trial run in Wadala. File pics

The report, prepared by a joint task force of members from railway board, government of Maharashtra, Western Railway and Planning Commission, says the Rs 21,000-crore corridor will be elevated, underground, and at ground level. It will have 26 stations, three less than the existing suburban section, the report says.

“The report is being considered before signing the state-support agreement with the state government,” said a senior railway official. The state-support agreement has been pending as both the railways and the Maharashtra government have been having differences over how the project should be executed.

Passenger load
The proposed corridor is expected to carry 27,500 passengers per hour per direction (PPHPD) on the Churchgate-Borivli route and 10,000 passengers on the Borivli-Virar section.

For reference, consider that the existing suburban rail system carries about 90,000 passengers between Churchgate and Borivli, and 30,000 passengers between Borivli and Virar. The railway authorities earlier expected to run six-car trains, although eight-car trains are recommended, and shall manage to start operating 12-car trains by year 2039.

The growth rate in terms of the line’s carrying capacity would dwindle over the years. The projected traffic growth rate up to year 2026 on Churchgate-Borivli is 2%. Beyond that year, it is likely to come down to 1%.

Similarly, on the Borivli-Virar section traffic will grow by 5% up to 2026 and after that by 3%.

The corridor will integrate the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz metro rail corridor at Hutatma Chowk, which is proposed to be completely underground. Presently the connectivity to Mantralaya and Nariman Point, a hub for businesses, is an issue.

Bandra-Versova Sea Link: The Bandra-Worli Sea Link will get connected further north up to Versova creating an additional roadway. This 10-km road having 8-lanes is expected to be completed within five years of tender allotment, which is likely to happen by 2013.
Cost: Rs 4,000 crore

Additional rail lines: Five to six rail lines are being constructed on both Western and Central Railways, in order to separate suburban routes from long distance routes. The work on western line (Mahim-Santacruz) is expected to be completed by 2013; by 2014 the Kurla-CST lines will be ready. Presently, work on Thane-Diva section is under way, while Kurla-Thane section is already complete.

Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link: It will connect Sewri port to Nhava-Sheva in Raigad district. Work on this 22-km long sea bridge will begin by September 2013 and will take at least five years to finish.
Cost: Rs 9,000 crore

Eastern freeway: The 22-km stretch, once operational, will allow direct connectivity to the Eastern Express Highway from South Mumbai by 2013-end. A sub-road on Mumbai Port Trust road and Fort Market areas will provide better connectivity for goods vehicles. The length of the proposed (phase 1) project is 12 km from Museum to Anik. The second phase of the project is from Anik-Panjarpol to Ghatkopar.
Cost: Rs 531 crore

Metro lines: The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro line is set to be operational by 2013, although it has been breaching deadlines for a very long time.
Cost: Rs 2,356 crore

The Colaba-Bandra-Seepz metro line will be completely underground, and work on it is expected to be complete by 2014. The MMRDA claims the line will be operational by 2019.
Cost: Rs 21,000 crore

Monorail: The first phase between Wadala and Chembur of India’s first and probably last such public transport is set to be operational after June 2013. The second phase of Jacob Circle-Wadala might be operational by early 2014.
Cost: Rs 2,700 crore

Inland Passenger Water transport: This will provide water transport up to south Mumbai from both western (Nariman Point-Gorai) and eastern (Ferry Wharf-Nerul) coasts. The work on constructing jetties for this project has already commenced. 

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