Mumbai Western Rail Expansion: MRVC Secures Approval For Mangrove Forest Land Diversion

Mumbai Western Rail Expansion: MRVC Secures Approval For Mangrove Forest Land Diversion

This milestone, achieved on November 17, 2023, paves way for the 5th-6th line project between Borivali-Virar, ushering in a new era of rail connectivity.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Thursday, November 23, 2023, 06:33 PM IST
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Mumbai Western Rail Expansion: MRVC Secures Approval For Mangrove Forest Land Diversion | Representational Image/Wikipedia

In a significant breakthrough, Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has received in-principle approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for the diversion of 12.7808 hectares of un-notified mangrove forest land. This milestone, achieved on November 17, 2023, paves way for the 5th-6th line project between Borivali-Virar, ushering in a new era of rail connectivity.

Sanctioned cost, completion date & other project details

The sanctioned cost of the 5th and 6th line project stands at Rs 2184.02 crores, with a targeted completion date of December 2027. MRVC, serving as the executing agency, is gearing up for ground operations, as several tenders have been finalized and few are in advance stage.

Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relations Officer of MRVC revealed that the project's design has been sanctioned, and crucial groundwork, including drone surveys and alignment finalization, has been completed. "Approval for all 5 project sheets, general designs for 3 major bridges, and 10 minor bridges is in place. The detail design consultant has been appointed, and detailed design aspects have been finalized" he said.

"Progress extends to administrative procedures, with tree-cutting proposals submitted to municipal authorities and land acquisition proposals to the Collector/Thane and Palghar. Tenders for relocation of structures have been awarded, and tendering process for the construction of Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) and Platforms is in advance stage," added Udasi.

Initial phase of the project

Initial phase of the project will involve clearing structures obstructing the proposed alignment of the corridor. According to a senior officer of MRVC, a total of 47 railway structures, including booking offices, relay rooms, toilet blocks, and offices, are slated for demolition to make way for the additional two tracks between Borivali and Virar. "MRVC has completed the survey to determine the alignment of the lines, and a land acquisition proposal has been submitted to the collector. Additionally, a proposal to address the removal of trees obstructing the lines has been submitted to the civic authorities," said an official.

WR's network currently

Currently, the Western Railway's suburban network consists of four lines from Churchgate to Mumbai Central and from Borivli to Virar, with an additional fifth line between Mumbai Central to Borivali and sixth line connecting Khar Road to Goregaon. The sixth line is planned to be extended up to  Borivli by the end of 2025.

The expansion project aims to efficiently segregate mail-express and suburban section rail traffic between Mumbai Central and Virar, enhancing the operational efficiency of the Western Railways Mumbai Central division.

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