You won't be surprised if Parel is clubbed alongside Kurla, Dadar, Andheri and Thane as worst stations.
Narrow platforms and a foot overbridge with a flight of stairs that is treacherous make things difficult for Mumbaikars who use the station for their daily commute.
And the bad news is just got worse. An ambitious plan to make a suburban terminus at Parel, firstly to restore a semblance of normality to the madness at the station and secondly to take the pressure off Dadar, has hit a roadblock.
The railway ministry has returned the Rs80 crore estimate worked out by the Central Railway for the Parel terminus project and has asked the CR to come up with a new figure. The project was in the last stages of approval in November last year, as reported by dna, and the CR officials were expecting the project to be given the green signal latest by the first week of December. Now, the CR officials say the new queries by the railway ministry mean the project is at least three to four months away from a green signal.
"The project is part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project Phase II which involves the creation of the fifth and sixth lines at a cost of Rs900 crore. Creation of the fifth and sixth lines will take some time because of the land acquisition requirements between Byculla and CST. So, it is best that the Parel Terminus work starts independently. But it seems the project has lost steam in the railway ministry and that is bad news for Mumbaikars using the terminal," said a senior CR official.
According to officials, Parel station, with around 22 lakh tickets old a year, sells around one/sixth of tickets sold at Dadar but its infrastructure is vastly inferior. The problem is that Elphinstone station – Parel's twin – is also seeing tremendous ticket sales and currently sells close to 56 lakh tickets a year. All of this is making both these stations a nightmare for commuters, Parel more so because of the narrower platforms.
22 lakh is the yearly ticket sale.
Catchment area is mill-turned malls and business complex areas stretching all the way to Worli.
Station sees a large number of patients wanting to go to KEM or Tata Memorial Hospital.
During the morning rush hour between 8.30am and 10.30am, crowd start thinning the most at Parel station.
Has just one set of platforms – one and two – for commuters. Platforms number 3 and 4 are for trains that carry railway employees working in Parel workshop.
Its north-end FOB is among the least used ones on the suburban network.
Planned in two legs, the first one – at a cost of around Rs80crore – will see one of the tracks on the western side of Parel being uprooted to make way for a 408metre long platform. This track currently called Goods Up line is used by goods trains moving southwards of Parel station. "Once this line is removed and the platform squeezed in, the current goods down line moving northwards from Parel will become the first track of Parel. This first line will carry all slow trains from CST onwards to Dadar and beyond. In railway lingo, this line will become the down local line," explained a senior CR official.
The next step would be to terminate the line on platform number one currently to create what will be the Parel terminal line. This is the line that will be used by trains ending and starting from Parel.
"The line will have a connector to the slow line that goes towards Dadar and also to the slow line coming from Dadar. Trains meant to end and start at Parel station will therefore run without infringing with the movement of any other train," said the official.
While the current foot-overbridge connecting both Parel and Elphinstone gets so crowded that cops have to be placed on them during the evening rush-hours, a new skywalk connecting Parel to the extreme western border of the WR tracks – home to an entire stretch of high-rise office complexes – is being planned. This skywalk would be connected to the FOB currently in place with a connector to be built on the eastern side of the station, along the walls of Tata Mills. An elevated booking office touching the Elphinstone Road bridge would also have a connector to these twin skywalks.