Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw briefly visited Mumbai on Sunday and swiftly gave nod to plans to further improve the city’s suburban system. Sources said Vaishnaw visited Vapi and then came to Bandra Terminus, where he met rail passenger associations and BJP workers.
More suburban escalators
Now an important passenger amenity, escalators are being installed across major railway stations. Officials said the Union minister asked them to look into the possibility of installing them at smaller but crowded stations in the suburban section. Kailash Verma, a member of the Passenger Amenities Committee, said Vaishnaw was quick in responding to their need.
The Central and Western Railways have set a deadline of March 2022 for 40 escalators and 40 additional lifts in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. At present, there are 84 escalators and 44 lifts on CR, while WR has 71 escalators and 34 lifts. Escalators are being installed at Kalyan, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, CSMT, GTB Nagar, Dombivali and Ulhasnagar stations.
Rest will be installed at other suburban stations as per passenger flow. Stations of Byculla, Mulund, Kurla, Thakurli, Kalyan and Titwala stations will get lifts. On the Western line, 20 new escalators will be installed by March 2022.
The railways are also looking at the possibility of setting up logistic parks and depots near Grant Road, Vasai and Vapi stations. The WR are putting up a prime parcel of land in Grant Road for renovation, utilisation and operation by a private party for five years. It is offering this 2,058.25 sq mt plot to private businesses. It is said to prove beneficial for business houses and businesses in the vicinity for working space, stacking, storage, sorting and parking. The proximity of Mumbai Central terminus and Grant Road station will ease the movement of goods. Likewise similar depot space is being scouted at Vasai and Vapi as well for similar purposes.