The Indian Railways has informed the state government and its agencies that until the land acquisition process for projects is not complete, they cannot start a project. “The Railway minister made it clear that unless the land acquisition process is not completed, we would not commence our projects,” said a senior railway official.
One such example is the 6th line between Borivli and Mumbai Central, meant for long distance trains on Western Railway (WR), that is stuck since 2008 when the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-2 commenced. The WR is struggling to shift the rail-overbridge between Khar-Bandra by 40 meters on the east towards Bandra Terminus. The locals are objecting as the spot has a cemetery and are refusing other solutions provided.
“We have agreed to all their demands and are in touch with the government agencies to resolve the issue but nothing has worked out in our favour which has led to an escalation in cost,” said a senior WR official. The cost of the 6th line has escalated from Rs 430 crore in 2008 to Rs 918 crore now.
Opposition from residents of the area is also the reason the WR has been unable to use the 5th line despite its completion, which they could use to add more local train services.
For the 6th line, the WR needs land parcels covering a total area of 2130 sq meters at Vile Parle, Malad, Goregaon and Borivli. They also need 435-meter long land space in pockets too. “We have started work near Santacruz, Goregaon and Vile Parle since March but unless we do not get land parcels, it will be difficult to proceed,” said a WR official.
STILL IN HOSPITAL
- As per information from KEM Hospital, 19 injured victims are yet at the hospital. Akash Parab, 18, who fractured his leg was operated on Monday. Dr Avinash Supe, the dean of KEM Hospital, said, “On Monday, five of the injured in the orthopaedic ward were ready for discharge but they haven’t yet as the paperwork is going on and they will be discharged soon.” Few more patients will be undergoing surgery soon.
- The WR has paid an ex gratia amount of Rs 1.34 crore to the victims of the Elphinstone Road stampede. They have paid Rs 1.15 crore via cheque to the kin of the dead, Rs 15 lakh to those with simple injuries, and Rs 4 lakh to those with grievous injuries. WR officials said that they are yet to pay Rs 4.85 lakh to the kin of one of the deceased as they are waiting for confirmation of his identity from the police.