The huge success of the new Metro rail line has revived feelings among railway officials of what could have been if the proposed elevated corridors were pursued seriously.
Within days of the Metro opening, vehicular traffic along the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route has seen a huge drop. Feasibility studies for the Churchgate-Virar and CST-Panvel elevated rail projects had indicated the possibility of a bigger impact.
However, the projects have been in cold storage for over a year due to the lack of understanding between the state and the railway ministry. And officials connected with the projects say chances that they would be revived are very slim.
According to a preliminary study of the Oval Maidan-Churchgate-Virar elevated corridor, when operational by 2019 it would have helped to reduce the number of vehicular trips on the route by 7.7 lakh daily.
In Mumbai today there are about 14 million vehicular trips every day. Experts, who undertook the study, estimated that about 10 percent of those using cars, taxis, autorickshaws or buses on the route would switch to rail.
They suggested that nearly of the 27,500 people travelling by the elevated rail corridor in peak hours, 2,500 would have otherwise travelled by on road.
This would also have a beneficial impact on the environment, with 41 tonnes less of carbon monoxide emitted every day.
Similarly, the CST-Panvel elevated rail corridor would have resulted in a reduction of 6 lakh vehicular trips daily. The reduction in carbon monoxide emission was estimated at 7.55 tonne daily.
Fewer vehicles would mean lesser fuel consumption which was estimated at about 6,000 litres in each case.
"It is unfortunate that both projects have been in limbo. The introduction of premium air-conditioned rail segments would have drawn a huge number of motorists, who avoid trains because they do not give them the comfort they desire," said a top railway official.
As reported by dna on June 11, 2014, Mumbaikars are buying far more vehicles annually today than in previous years. A total 1,86,640 vehicles were added between April 2013 and March 2014 and this is nearly two-and-a-half times the average 88,510 vehicles added annually in the previous 15 years.
What might have been
Estimated reduction in vehicular trips a day
On Churchgate-Virar section: 7.7 lakh
On CST-Panvel section: 6 lakh
Projected reduction in carbon monoxide emission daily
Churchgate-Virar: 41 tonnes
CST-Panvel: 7.55 tonnes
Vehicular population (on March 31, 2014)
In Mumbai: 23.74 lakh
In Thane: 26.99 lakh
Navi Mumbai and adjoining areas: 6.57 lakh