Indian Cabinet has approved the Rs10.9bn ($1.6bn) Mumbai Urban Transport Project Phase III (MUTP 3), which is aimed at expanding rail infrastructure in the state of Maharashtra.
The project covers areas is slated for completion in the next five years and includes Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Mumbai districts.
Currently, Western Railway is running suburban services on the existing double line between Virar-Dahanu Road, which is a part of main line Mumbai-Ahmedabad / Delhi route.
Construction of additional double line between the busy Virar-Dahanu road is expected to address the demand of commuters in this region and will provide extension of suburban services from Churchgate to Dahanu Road.
The MUTP 3 will supplement the existing 376km Mumbai suburban railway network on Central and Western Railways with an additional 28km line from Panvel to Karjat, as well as a 3km elevated extension from Airoli to Kalwa.
As part of Phase III, four-tracking of the 63km Virar-Dahanu Road line will also be included and 565 new EMU cars would be procured.
Procurement of new coaches is aimed at improving the quality of service and reducing congestion.
The project also includes, new elevated corridor between Airoli-Kalwa, quadrupling of Virar-Dahanu Road, and trespass control measures in mid sections.
The works proposed under trespass control at 22 locations is expected to reduce these intrusions.
At present, there are two corridors on Western Railway, two on Central Railway and one corridor on Harbour Line of Central Railway.
Around eight million people travel in suburban section everyday in more than 2,900 train services.