Of Vasai-Diva-Panvel local travel

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the railway board has declared the 63-km Vasai-Diva-Panvel rail line a suburban section, paving the way for its infrastructure upgrade, better amenities and running local trains along the route.

The line is a crucial east-west rail link in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Currently, a few goods trains, 50 Konkan, Gujarat, Pune, and Kalyan-bound trains, and 24 MEMU (Main Line Electric Multiple Units) shuttles run on this line. “Now, the commuters can get return tickets, tourist tickets and other types of suburban tickets,” said Sunil Udasi, chief public relations officer of Central railway.

The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation has included the project under the ₹54,777-crore MUTP-3A. According to an MRVC official, the estimated cost of the project is ₹7,184 crore. Two new suburban lines and several new stations are proposed to be built between Virar-Diva-Panvel stations.

The proposed suburban line will offer railway connectivity to several parts of Vasai, Bhiwandi and areas such as Taloja and Kalamboli, facilitating their development.

According to railway officers, Vasai-Diva-Panvel suburban section is important, considering the increase in population in the north of Mumbai. The line will become more important once the new international airport is operational.

According to railway officers, in February 2013, the Vasai-Diva-Panvel section was declared suburban for six months, but it wasn’t followed up.

A few years ago, the MRVC too came up with a ₹9,800-crore project to run suburban services on the section.

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