Work on the construction of what will be the longest tunnel on Mumbai’s suburban railway, began on Wednesday, with the blasting of a hill for both of its portals on the Panvel-Karjat suburban railway project. This tunnel, no. 2, has a length of 2.6 km.
A new suburban railway line corridor is being built between Panvel and Karjat in addition to the existing line. The length of the new line is about 29.6km and it will have five stations. The entire line will have three tunnels, two rail flyovers, 44 major and minor bridges, 15 road under bridges and seven road over bridges. The target date of completion is December 2025. The three tunnels on the line include the Nadhal hill tunnel (219 m), Wavarle hill tunnel (2.6 km) and Kiravali hill tunnel (300 m). At present, the Parsik tunnel between Thane and Diva is the longest (1.3 km) tunnel on the Mumbai suburban section. Work on the tunnel had begun in 1906 and it was opened to traffic in 1916.
“This double line corridor will enable running of suburban services, providing alternative route from the main island city of Mumbai to Karjat via Panvel. It will also imply a shorter commute between CSMT and Karjat due to shorter distance than the existing route via Kalyan. This additional suburban corridor will not only provide an alternative route between CSMT and Karjat but also work as a catalyst for further economic development of fast developing Panvel, Karjat and NAINA (Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area). With the Ministry of Railways and the government of Maharashtra focusing towards infrastructure development of the suburban rail network of Mumbai, my dedicated team of MRVC is working as planned to deliver on time,” said Subhash Chand Gupta, chairman and managing director, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC).
The existing old line caters to transport of goods and a few long-distance passenger trains. However, since the Navi Mumbai area, especially around Panvel, has witnessed significant urbanisation and population growth in recent years and the area between Panvel and Karjat is also developing very fast, there is an increasing demand for extending the suburban train services to Karjat via Panvel. 29.6km Length of the new line between Panvel and Karjat