Mumbai Local News: CR Begins Demolition of Illegal Structures on Harbour Line

The goal is to increase train speeds and improve the commuter experience.

Mumbai Local News: CR Begins Demolition of Illegal Structures on Harbour Line

Central Railway (CR) officials initiated a clean-up drive on November 27 to increase train speeds. They removed encroachments and human waste that had long been in the tracks of the harbour line.

The operation focused on the stretch between Chunabhatti and GTB Nagar stations, where 165 hutments were eliminated. The clean-up involved the removal of 140 shops and 25 hutments with the help of railway security forces.

The clean-up crew reportedly faced difficulties due to the accumulation of excreta on the tracks. There are sections in the route where excreta was accumulated. It is harmful to the tracks and other assets.

The harbour line is used daily by about three lakh commuters on the Thane-Vashi route and 10 to 12 lakh commuters on the trans-harbour line. It has been restricted to a speed of 30 kmph due to the encroachments and excreta.

Areas such as Wadala-King's Circle-Mahim, Govandi-Mankhurd, and Wadala-Chunabhatti-GTB Nagar have been identified as problematic due to encroachments, trash dumping, and open defecation.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was tasked with constructing makeshift restrooms until the unlawful buildings were demolished, according to railway officials.

After the encroachments are eliminated, it would take two to three months to complete improving the rails and other inputs. By March 2024, the train speeds will reach 105 kmph, according to reports.

The harbour line upgrading projects affect the entire CSMT-Panvel route. Efforts to increase speeds had begun. But progress was hampered by political resistance and encroachments.

The increased speed will free up buffer room for future service additions and reduce train travel times. Authorities anticipate a five- to seven-minute reduction in travel time under normal circumstances.

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