Even as the Maharashtra government has taken to the drawing board to develop the sleepy village of Uran into a small township, the Indian Railways has been working with CIDCO to build a railway line to connect Uran with the mainstream suburban railway system.
The Railways has been planning to run direct trains from Mumbai CST to Uran for more than a decade now, resulting in huge cost escalations and delay in deadlines.
According to the latest status report, the physical project work of the line has been 15% complete and has a target deadline of 2015 -16. The delay in implementing the project has led to a rise in cost from Rs 495.44crore to a whopping sum of Rs1,814.48 crore.
“Work has been sanctioned as back as 1996-97 with a subsequent deadline for the project of 2013-14. But the work has been delayed due to problems between the CIDCO and the railways.
The project is being carried as a joint venture between the Indian Railways and CIDCO with a cost sharing ratio of 1:2 and the delays has led to a hike in the project cost and pushing the deadline ahead now to 2016,” a senior official said.
Once the line is ready, it should be able to take commuters from CST in on an average of one hour 45 minutes. The existing freight line to Uran is about 95.10 km from Mumbai CST and the new line will pass through a shorter route and cut the distance by nearly half.
One arm will go to Nerul and the other to Belapur. Both these arms will converge at a station called Kile about 3 km from Nerul and Belapur and the straight double line will continue till Uran, he added. This line is in addition to the proposed fast corridor on the Harbour line that is expected to begin soon.
The Comptroller and Auditor General too had also in the past few years blasted the city’s railways for lack of co-ordinat.