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Metro to put city on fast track

A day after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan performed bhoomipujan of the metro rail project between Belapur-Pendhar on May 1, the CIDCO has said it will leave no stone unturned to see to it that reaching out to the upcoming international airport will be a smooth affair for commuters. After the work of preparing the masterplan of project was assigned to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the agency had identified six corridors with lengths over 120 km. The identified routes are Digha-Airoli-Rabale-Turbhe-Belapur (20 km), Vashi-Ghansoli-Mahape (9 km), Vashi- Nerul-Panvel (25 km), Belapur-Taloja-Kalamboli-Khandeshwar Railway Station-Airport (22 km), Ranjanpada-Kharkopar-Seawoods (14 km) and Nerul-Uran (28 km). “Since the Nerul-Uran uburban railway route is on the cards, other five corridors are being considered by CIDCO. Belapur-Taloja-Kalamboli-Khandeshwar Railway Station-Airport is the only route we have finalised yet, while feasibilities of the remaining four ones are being surveyed and decisions will be made in phases," a senior CIDCO official said requesting not to be named. He added that connecting the Vashi-Nerul-Panvel route to Mankhurd and thereby Mumbai, is also being considered. Development of the Belapur-Taloja-Kalamboli-Khandeshwar Railway Station-Airport route will cost the authorities around Rs 4,163 crore and will be carried out in three phases by the contractor J Kumar Infra. Work of phase I from Belapur to Pendhar (covering 11 stations), will be completed within next three years and cost
Rs 1984 crore. "The second phase will cover a distance of 8.5 km between Khandeshwar and Taloja MIDC costing around Rs 1605 crore. It will have eight stations and the work is targeted to be completed by 2016,” the officer said and added that the final leg will cost Rs 574 crore and will be ready by the time second phase will get over. The official said, “The metro railway will have three coaches (with capacity of carrying over 700 commuters at a time) initially and later will be extended to six in view of rising number of commuters. For the first year after the phase I is completed, we are planning to run services after a gap of 12 minutes daily. As the time progresses and number of commuters shoot up, the gap will be curtailed by four minutes in 2021 and further by four-and-half minutes in 2031,” the officer added. About ticket rates, he informed the tentative fare will be Rs 7 for first 3 km. “Travel up to a distance of 8 km will cost commuters Rs 9. If the commuters cover distances up to 13, 16, 22 km, he/she will have to pay Rs 11, Rs 13 and Rs 22 respectively,” the officer concluded.

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