If things work as planned, Mumbai will have two world-class suburban railway stations. Thanks to the inclusion of Thane by railway minister Mamata Banerjee in the list of stations to be transformed into world-class stations.
Proposed by her predecessor Lalu Yadav, Banerjee has taken the project ahead and added 10 more stations to the 50 listed by her in the July 2009 budget.
The Central Railway (CR) is working towards developing Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus as a world-class station. French consultant Arep Ville has been appointed at a fee of Rs11 crore for the process.
“The transformation project is being worked and monitored at the Railway Board level. The identification of stations and the execution of suggestions are being monitored by the ministry,” informed a senior official. “We had not asked for inclusion of Thane in the fresh list of world-class stations.”
As per CR administration, under the world-class category, a station will be provided facilities like elevators, computerised ticketing, proper ventilation, drinking water and sanitation amenities.
The annual exercise has also boosted the hopes of commuters in the Thane region since 32 new locals will be launched on the Thane-Kasara route. A ladies’ special rake will be introduced on the Thane-Vashi route.
Thane was the first passenger train terminus in India and also the first station built by the British to link the island city. Around 25 lakh commuters travel daily from Thane, thereby generating a monthly revenue of Rs9 crore.
The ministry also intends to provide multi-functional complexes at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus on CR and Vasai Road on Western Railway.