In a first, drones were used to survey availability of land on Virar-Dahanu stretch, earlier this lockdown period. This was done for adding two more lines on this section. Now, the authorities have started soil testing as well. This comes days after this project falling under Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-3 received Rs 300 crore in this budget 2021-22.
Senior railway officials said that they have begun work on testing the soil now starting from Virar end namely to gauge the soil capacity for laying of these two new rail lines. Currently there are two existing rail lines on which both suburban local trains and long distance ones ply on them. With the addition of these two; it will help the Western Railway (WR) to segregate the local trains from the outstation ones with exclusive rail lines.
“We have begun soil testing on stretches. Earlier we had carried out drone survey on the entire route to namely understand the availability of land for this new rail lines,” said a railway official from Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) which is carrying out the MUTP project. Soil testing is namely to ascertain the quality of available land for laying the lines.
The drone survey was namely carried out to check the available land on this 60-kms stretch between Virar to Dahanu. Sources said that during the survey the encroachments on railway land was identified so as to then physically ascertain its presence on the ground, identify spaces where rail lines can come up and where they will have to acquire more land for the same, also locations where there are obstructions that needs to be removed etc.
As on 2020-end, the MRVC had acquired 30 percent of land on this stretch but officials agreed that its acquisition is an issue. Total land required for this project is close to 178 hectares of which 33 hectares are private land.
There are already two major rail projects of Dedicated Freight Corridor and High speed Bullet train projects that are coming up and will pass on this route. The deadline for completing these two rail lines is mid-2024.