The railway ministry has asked Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation to go slow on the ambitious plan to create the 3rd and 4th lines between Virar and Dahanu.
Mumbai’s railway officials were banking on this project as well as the proposed suburban line between Virar-Vasai-Diva-Panvel to bail out the suburban system for at least next two decades.
Officials associated with the projects said that inclusion of these two projects in the forthcoming budget would pave the way to begin work on them early as both will take time to build.
According to the officials, Mumbai might get a raw deal as the forthcoming budget is likely be a politically-oriented one, coming just a short time before the Lok Sabha elections, and projects in bigger states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar might get the nod. “There is also a possibility that the budget might be a vote-in-account one where there will be no new announcements but only allotments for certain projects already in the pipeline. In both the situations, Mumbai loses out since the city’s projects are the ones on which work has not begun. So, pushing them by another year becomes easier, especially when there is a cash crunch,” said an official.
According to officials, the plan to build an additional pair of lines between Virar and Dahanu is a necessity due to the construction boom. “The Virar-Dahanu belt is exactly in the same situation that prevailed in the late 80s between Borivli and Virar. At current prices, the plan might cost upwards of Rs5,000 crore but it is expected go up further once the construction begins.