In what it might be seen as a setback to CSMT commuters, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) are working on a plan to start the elevated harbour rail corridor to Panvel from Wadala, instead of the earlier planned Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).
According to the Hindustan Times, the authority wants to develop Wadala into a transport hub, with an integrated transport hub (ITH) project at Anik bus depot. Among the proposals are a bus depot, Mono-rail-Metro lines and inter-state bus terminal (ISBT). A senior MRVC official told the leading daily, “The change has been discussed in several rounds of meetings with the Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMMTA) and MMRDA officials. While we have got the CTS approval, the MMRDA will decide the final plan. The project will then be sent to the railway board for sanctions.”
The report further states that one of the reasons that the corridor is being planned from Wadala and not from CSMT is Metro 11. The approved line will connect Wadala to General Post Office (GPO) near CSMT. Metro 11 from Wadala is an extension to the under-construction line 4 (Wadala-Kasarvadavli).
The elevated railway corridor will connect to both the Navi Mumbai and Mumbai airports. The corridor will pass through Palm Beach Road in Vashi, cross the Uran creek and take a diversion from Seawoods railway station for the new airport. Commuters will be able to reach the Navi Mumbai airport – the deadline for which is 2019 – from Seawoods railway station in 20 minutes.