Rs 456-crore plan to reconstruct Dadar station gets in-principle nod

By Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Mega plan of upgrading Dadar station on WR and CR, to make it as one large unit, gets in-principle approval after a delay of three years

An artist's impression of what the inside of the revamped Dadar station will look like

Stuck for three years in red tape, the mega plan to upgrade and reconstruct Dadar station on both WR and CR as one single unit will finally see the light of day. "The process of urban renewal for Mumbai has to begin in the heart of the city, and there is no better place than Dadar to start this," south-central MP Rahul Shewale is believed to have told Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, securing an in-principle nod for the Rs 456-crore revamp. The final approvals are awaited though.

Ease of doing devpt
Shewale told mid-day that complications related to lease and sub-lease restrictions, which had led to the delay, have now been relaxed, and one can lease out for a period of 90 years, something on the lines of the Mumbai airport. The new plan, in sync with Development Plan 2034, includes various amenities for commuters with seamless connectivity to both stations and roads. It also has pedestrian subways underground and commercial complexes, or a circulating area, at the top.

At GTB Nagar station, existing middle platform will be moved ahead on the north side with additional platforms on either side, making space for a third line

The highlight of the plan is creating an elevated pedestrian zone and an underground parking facility with an internal road between the two stations. This redevelopment is part of the station redevelopment project funded by a South Korean initiative. The Ministry of Railways has identified seven stations on CR — Mumbai CSMT, LTT, Kurla, Dadar, Thane, Panvel and Lonavala.

Elsewhere on the network...
Work on two smaller stations in the city — Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar and Chunabhatti — will also begin soon. The upgrade of the two stations on the Harbour line, as part of the Prime Minister's Monitored Project of laying the third line between Wadala and Kurla, has slowed down due to delay in shifting of slums along the stretch. This is the same project in which Kurla station's Harbour side will be elevated, segregating the goods and the Harbour line.

At Chunabhatti, the booking office in the east will be demolished to make way for a third line

"Work has already begun at various stretches where there are no encroachments and no technical issues. While pillars for the deck are coming up at a rapid speed, preparatory work has begun on making space for the third line at Chunabhatti and GTB Nagar stations," a senior railway official said. "There were about a 1,000 structures that the state government needed to relocate, and the process has been taking time."

A 4.41-km goods line between Wadala and Kurla to improve connectivity between the Mumbai Port Trust line at Wadala and the 5th and 6th lines at Kurla, built ahead of commissioning of the Offshore Container Terminal project, too, has been facing delays and cost overruns. The cost of the rail project is R176.81 crore, and it will take two years to complete once all encroachments are removed.

Ticketing hubs on CR
The CR has planned to develop railway station ticketing counters on the lines of airports at all major stations. Announcing this yesterday, senior officials these ticketing hubs will have all types of ticketing machines and a ticketing zone, which will be developed as a passenger area.

Points of view
Rahul Shewale, Member of Parliament
'Dadar is the hub of railways in Mumbai and caters to over 10 lakh passengers every day. It is important to build a proper station unit with ancillary facilities. At present, it is a scattered unit of two separate stations; that much land, if exploited properly, can be a hub of urban renewal'

Rohit Shinkre, Architect behind the concept
'The idea is to integrate the outside areas, namely Tilak Bridge and Keshavsut flyover, into the station plan. Commuters want easy entry-exit points, and that is what we are offering them with the help of elevated pedestrian zones and subways, integrated with the road bridges.'

Also Read: Heroes of Mumbai: Railway Gangmen put their lives at risk to keep local trains running

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