After being delayed for two years, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) finally started the pier work on the Vaitarna river bridge on Sunday. The construction of a 500-600 metres long bridge is part of the quadrupling work on the Virar-Dahanu railway section.
The two new rail lines will allow long-distance trains to achieve the speed of 160 kmph or even more and increase the capacity of the Mumbai-Delhi corridor. MRVC officials said the additional bridge will help connect Mumbai to Gujarat, extending it to Delhi. “We have started construction of piers for this bridge on December 5. There will be two rail lines passing over Vaitarna as part of the quadrupling work,” said a senior MRVC official.
The length of one bridge would be around 500 mt and the other is nearly 600 mt. It will take more than a year for the rail bridge to be ready. Sources said that in the past there have been cases of sand mining in the river posing danger to this bridge. After designs and layouts of the project were completed, the work started on the construction of bridges.
The MRVC had earlier said that land acquisition for the project would be completed by 2019-end and work on the third and fourth rail lines on this 60-km stretch would be completed by mid-2023.
However, the project got delayed due to land acquisition issues and Covid-19 lockdown. The proposed target date for the completion of the project is March 2024. Now, with almost 70 per cent of a land acquisition completed, officials said that a tender has been invited for earthworks, including electrification and laying overhead equipment (OHE) works, as well as stations and other works. The railways are already working on amplifying the electricity carrying capacity of OHE cables to enable trains to run at 160 kmph.
Officials said that almost 20 per cent of the quadrupling work has been completed. In all, 86 new bridges have been planned in the entire stretch. This will also include eight new stations and several new buildings at Virar, Vaitarna, Saphale, Kelve Road, Palghar, Umroli, Boisar and Vangaon, Dahanu road.