At last Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has unveiled its steel bridge that will be constructed over the western railway line and western express way for first line of Mumbai Metro Rail. The agency got the clearance from the railways and an agreement was signed between the two agencies recently.
Costing Rs 35 crore, the Railways have also made available 142 traffic and power blocks for the early completion of the 180 meter long steel bridge crossing the railway line from Andheri West to Andheri East.
“This probably is the most crucial step forward as far as completion of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor is concerned, thanks to the efforts of Kul Bhushan, General Manager, Central and Western Railways and S.N.Singh, Chief Bridge Engineer, Railways.
“The Railways follow a very meticulous style of working and we are sure of completing the task on hand”, said SVR Srinivas, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.
The Western Railways, by a separate letter, have also made available, in all, 142 traffic and power blocks for the construction of the steel bridge ranging from minimum of one hour 55 minutes to maximum of four hours.
“The blocks are spread over from mid-night to the early hours when the railway traffic is minimal or absent. The blocks, we are certain, will facilitate timely construction and completion of the critical steel bridge”, said PRK Murthy, Chief, Transport and Communication, MMRDA.
The agreement also expresses the possibility of allowing work, with or without speed restrictions, while the trains are running subject to prevailing traffic conditions and availability of engineering time and with regard to the safety norms that may be revised by the Railways from time to time for the smooth functioning of the trains.
The agreement further specifies that the Metro Railway Administration will have to pay charges for permission to cross railway land on-ground and or overhead.
“The Metro Railway Administration will be paying charges equivalent of 99% of the market value of the land plus nominal charges of rupees one thousand per annum for a period of 35 years, extendable for a further period of 35 years to the Railways. Also, the overhead crossing charges of rupees fifty thousand per annum for the area of land and rupees one lakh per annum for a two-track metro for each block of 100 meter stretch of length of crossing”, said Dilip Kawathkar, Joint Project Director (PR), MMRDA.
While clarifying that all rights with regard to air and space rights shall remain with the Railways, the Railways have also stipulated possibility of these charges being revised from time to time.