When will the Thane-Diva lines be ready? Our guess is as good as yours

Updated: Dec 22, 2016, 19:05 IST | Shashank Rao

Talk about mixed signals. The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has said categorically that the Thane-Diva fifth and sixth lines will not be ready before December 2017, but MP Rajan Vichare has claimed that by March next year, they’ll be good to go

The Thane station sees over 6 lakh commuters every day. Fiile Pic

Talk about mixed signals. The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has said categorically that the Thane-Diva fifth and sixth lines will not be ready before December 2017, but MP Rajan Vichare has claimed that by March next year, they’ll be good to go. 

On December 18, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced extension of Thane station, but there is still no clarity on the fate of the two additional lines needed for it. The MRVC, the implementing agency for the project, has been working on the two lines for the last seven years under the R5,300-crore Mumbai Urban Transport Project-2. 

Persisting issues: MRVC
“There are a few issues with these two lines. There is a need for cut and connect of rail tracks. So, we don’t expect it to be ready before December 2017,” said Prabhat Sahai, chairman and managing director, MRVC. 

Railway tracks need a ‘cut and connect’ when the alignment and need to be joined abruptly. This occurs when there are illegal structures along the proposed lines that need to be removed. This process of land acquisition is delaying the project. 

Most work over: MP
MP Vichare, however, was optimistic that the Thane-Diva lines will be ready soon. “We expect them to be ready by March 2017 as most of the work is over. Tenders will be called for the new Thane terminus by January,” he said. This terminus is expected to come on land owned by the Thane Mental Hospital. 

The fifth and sixth lines are for long-distance trains and will be segregated from the suburban train section. Currently, long-distance trains beginning at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus go on two separate lines all the way till Thane and then merge with the fast line at Kalyan, causing a bottleneck ahead. Trains starting at CST go on the fast line till Kalyan, affecting local trains.

On an average, 15-20 trains are delayed every day on the CST-Kurla stretch when local trains halt to make way for outstation or long-distance trains on Central Railway (CR).

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