Some relief for people living in the western suburbs. Union railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has endorsed the demand for a link between the Western Railway and Konkan Railway.
At present, commuters residing in the western suburbs are forced to go to Dadar or Panvel to take a Konkan Railway train. Once this new link comes up, these commuters will get trains at their doorstep. DNA had highlighted this issue in April and May 2012 and followed up the issue with the railways.
In his budget speech, Bansal announced that a survey of this new link has to be completed by March 2014. Western Railway authorities said that a 2-km rail link connecting Naigaum on the Western Railway to the Vasai-Diva line will solve this problem.
This link between Naigaum and Juchandra station in Thane district will enable running of regular trains to the Marathwada region in the state and to southern India.
At present, there is no direct access from the Western Railway line to Konkan Railway, south India or Pune.
Earlier, the Western Railway had worked out a project that offered direct connectivity from stations like Mumbai Central, Bandra and Borivili to the Konkan Railway, Pune and southern parts of the country.
Sources said there would be no problem in acquiring land or in making any track realignment to complete this project. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan too had pushed for this new rail alignment. Activist Jagdish Rane said he was glad that this much-needed project is finally taking shape."The railways should have done this long ago when they were extending railway lines in the western suburbs a few years ago," said Rane.