One of the most awaited railway lines between Thane and Diva is expected to be ready by December this year, said the top officials from Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) claim. The civil work has been completed. What's remaining is the linking of tracks. For this, it would require two or three mega blocks of 48-72 hours each with an approval from the Central Railway.
The MRVC has been spearheading this project, which received an approval to lay two new lines in 2008. The fifth and sixth lines will enable authorities to separate outstation trains from local ones till Kalyan. "The project was delayed due to the pandemic. We have set up an internal deadline of December this year. It will then be up for inspection from the commissioner of railway safety," said a senior official from MRVC.
Sources said that taking 4-6 hours of a mega block isn't enough. More blocks of a longer duration will be required for faster completion. It would also mean that the services on the Thane-Kalyan section will be affected. At present, there is no clarity on when these blocks will be undertaken.
Meanwhile, a section of railway officials said that it may not be practically possible to meet the December deadline. The project could be delayed till March 2022, as track linking and interlocking is a complicated process.
The project, which was sanctioned in 2008, is a part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP 2B).The first deadline was December 2015, which was later revised to December 2017, then to March 2019, June 2020 and now delayed further. The cost has escalated from Rs 130 crore to Rs 440 crore.