The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has declined to change the alignment of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (CBM) corridor near Kurla crossing after it clashed with Central Railway’s ‘long-term’ extension plans. After negotiations, it has been decided that the MMRDA would change some designs so that the Metro Rail can pass through the railways’ territory without obstructing the railways’ extension plan.
“There will be no change in the alignment as the concession agreement has already been signed,” said Metropolitan Commissioner Rahul Asthana. Last week, the MMRDA had a meeting with the CR to sort the issue out.
The 31-km CBM corridor, aimed at providing better east-west connectivity, is to cross over the tracks at Bandra (Western Railway), Kurla and Mankhurd (Central Railway). At Kurla crossing, it will run parallel to the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road Over Bridge (ROB) and will cross the tracks between the SCLR and Kurla station. “As per the designs given to us, there would be a clash with our long-term plans,” said a senior CR official. The CR has several ‘commercial lines’ coming from the Mahul-Trombay belt, with many plants, including Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd located there. The CR and Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) are also developing an elevated rail corridor between Kurla and Wadala. The 5.66-km new Kurla-Wadala line will be linked to the national dedicated freight corridor of the western region. CR and MbPT have signed an MoU for the project which will cost around Rs104 crore.
Thus, the CR suggested the MMRDA change the alignment and cross the tracks between Kurla-Sion or Vidyavihar-Ghatkopar.
The MMRDA told the CR that the crossing at Kurla is inevitable and the crossing suggested would mean a complete change in alignment which is not possible as a concession agreement has been signed and financial closure was achieved. Also, if the alignment is changed the cost would spiral owing to rehabilitation and resettlement and increase in distance.