Mumbai: Even though Rs 40000 crore is being spent on the three Metro rails Colaba-Bandra-Sepz (Metro 3), Andheri (E)-Dahisar (E) (Metro 7) and Dahisar-DN Nagar (Metro 2A) there is no plan to connect with the Mumbai suburban rail that ferries 74 lakh people everyday. However on August 2, at a meet between the railways and Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), the latter were asked to plan their stations accordingly.
The Western Railway (WR) authorities have identified stations like Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri and Borivali where the connectivity between the two modes of transport is needed. Sources in WR said that these are the stations where it is required for the integration either through subways or foot over bridges (FOBs).
“We have asked the MMRC to work on their stations in a way that it can connect with our railway stations,” said Mukul Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), WR.
At these stations, work on Metro rail is underway which is barely meters away from the station premises. The railway authorities claim that as work on Metro is still underway, they can surely realign the path and integrate the two rail systems. For instance at Mumbai Central, work on Colaba-Bandra-Seepz is underway which are inside ral premises.
At Andheri and Bandra, work is underway on the main arterial roads that leads to the railway stations. Here there is a scope for connecting to the nearest skywalk that is used by people daily. “There is a need for the two modes of transport to get connected, otherwise there is no point if people have to come on road for interchange,” said AV Shenoy, Transport expert.
At present the connectivity at Andheri and Ghatkopar stations is satisfactory. In fact few months ago the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation built a new FOB joining the rail and metro stations that is barely 50 meters in length. Previously the distance between the two were around 500 meters or so and it was connected by a skywalk. At Ghatkopar, the two merge providing ease to commuters.
“We will look into this suggestion made by the railways to connect the Metro stations with railway stations,” said Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, MMRCL.
In fact the railway officials claim that they are also planning revamp of few stations under the Station Redevelopment scheme. Under the scheme, 400 stations belonging to A1 and A category are going to be redeveloped through PPP. The first phase of the scheme have been launched with 23 stations which include five stations from Mumbai suburban, namely Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Thane, Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus and Borivali.