The progress of the delayed suburban train line aimed at connecting Uran is gaining momentum, with the final stretch of the route linking Nerul/Belapur to Uran expected to open by the end of this month (March).
The total length of the proposed connectivity is 26.7 km, which has been executed in two phases.
The first phase of this project spanning 12.4 km between Nerul/Belapur and Kharkopar, was opened to passengers in November 2018.
While the remaining stretch of 14.3 km was underway after few delays and is now, expected to begin operations.
Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer, Central Railways stated that the project will be completed soon, and the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) will inspect the route between 4 to 6 March 2023.
Meanwhile, sources have also added that the CRS inspection may have been postponed by a few days, due to the recent derailment of the local train between Belapur to Kharkopar, on the morning of 28 February 2023.
This rail connectivity has crossed many deadlines in the past.
As per sources, the line would have been completed by September 2022, but due to opposition from surrounding villages owing to compensation issues, the work was not allowed on some patches.
"Engineering work had stopped in June 2022 and was restarted in October after we sought police cover,” stated Sutar.
With continued opposition from nearby villages, who are in dispute with the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the Central Railways decided to seek police protection and take the project forward, and made way for engineers to begin the track-laying work on the section.
This corridor is being developed to provide a better approach between Uran and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).
The project also stands important to provide connectivity for the Navi Mumbai Airport.
Currently, passengers can travel till Kharkopar via Nerul/Belapur, but once this last phase starts, it should be able to take commuters from CSMT to Uran in about one hour and 45 minutes.
The existing freight line to Uran is about 95.10 km from CSMT and the new line will pass through a shorter route and cut the distance by nearly half, as per a Mid-Day report.
The stretch of Kharkopar-Uran will have five stations, two major bridges, 41 minor bridges, two road under bridges and four road overbridges.
This project is being done on a cost sharing basis with CIDCO. One-third of the project cost is being borne by the Railways and two-thirds by CIDCO.
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