Mumbai gets new rail route: Nerul-Belapur-Kharkopar line thrown open
The biggest beneficiaries from this project will be the locals of Ulwe, who only had autorickshaws and buses to rely on until now.
After waiting for 21 years, Ulwe residents were finally able to board their very own local train yesterday, as the 12.4-km Nerul-Belapur-Seawoods-Kharkopar suburban railway line was thrown open. Residents only had buses to rely on earlier, and would have to spend a minimum of 30 minutes to get to Belapur station.
The sore lack of public transport is why many citizens did not move there despite buying homes. Yesterday's inauguration, by Railway minister Piyush Goyal and CM Devendra Fadnavis, marks the completion of phase 1 of the line, with phase 2 — a 14.3-km stretch from Kharkopar to Uran — set to finish by 2020. The entire 26.7-km Nerul-Belapur-Seawoods-Uran line, once completed, will provide direct access to Uran town, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Greater Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
The biggest beneficiaries from this project will be the locals of Ulwe, who only had autorickshaws and buses to rely on until now. The nearest station, Belapur, is at least half an hour away, or more, if there's traffic.
Out of Kharkopar and the other four stations
Shobha Das, a resident, spends an average of 30 minutes waiting for her bus to work, which often results in her reaching late. She said, "I work in the mall, and cannot spend R40 on rickshaw, so I have to wait for the bus. "People have brought flats in our area, but never shifted here because of the poor transportation facilities. They keep calling me to ask about the progress of the railway work, so that they can come live here."
Residents are happy that they not only have better transportation now, but this change is also likely to boost real estate in the vicinity. The new railway line will also help connectivity to the under-construction Navi Mumbai airport, which is close to Ulwe.
Saving time and money
Aarti Bhangare, a first-year college student, spends R100 every day to travel to Belapur and then to Nerul, where her college is situated. "We have got serious relief now that this railway service has started. Every day, I'd spend 40 minutes to an hour travelling home because of traffic jams in peak hours. But thanks to the train services, I can reach in just 10 minutes, and have to spend only Rs 20 to Rs 30," she said.
Kritika Mhatre, a second-year college student, said, "We have NMMC bus facilities here at reasonable rates, but have to wait for a long time, as the bus frequency is low. And it can take up to an hour to get home in the traffic. My family was against shifting here because of this problem, but we ended up moving here due to some problems. Travel has been hectic, but the railway line will improve things."
Length of complete route
No. of years the project took to be completed
Rs 1.8 cr
Total cost of phase 1 and 2
The Seawood-Belapur-Uran line was conceived in 1997, and has finally come to fruition 21 years later. CR will operate 40 services daily from today, of which 20 will run between Kharkopar and Nerul, and the rest between Belapur and Kharkopar stations.
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