The only growth you will see on the stretch of land where work of extending the CST-Andheri harbour line up to Goregaon is under way is rank shrubbery.
The project, moving at a painfully slow pace, is the responsibility of Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and will extend the harbour-western line, currently till Andheri, up to Goregaon.
This will ensure that people who travel from the western suburbs to the harbour line don’t have to go to Churchgate or Dadar to switch to central line.
If deadlines are to be believed, then Mumbai is to get an extension of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Andheri harbour line up to Goregaon by March 2014. Trains are to ply from April 2014. However, going by the rate at which the construction is moving, this looks improbable.
At the north, the stretch between Goregaon and Jogeshwari is infested with wild plants, tall grass, shrubs, puddles, sleepers (cement logs that join the two rails), heaps of stones, and ballast. Apart from this, there are small temporary accommodations made for workers, which were locked at the time of MiD DAY’s visit last week.
Meanwhile, the old railway cabins along the same route on the west are used by anti-social elements. One can see groups of men entering or coming out of the moss-covered shanties surrounded by bushes. Iron beams and logs lie haphazardly by track sides.
Further south, a bridge and its pillars are being constructed over a creek. Creepers and grass have taken over the rail sleepers.
On September 26, chairman and managing director of MRVC, Rakesh Saxena, visited the entire stretch to gauge the progress of the project.
Sources said that work would resume soon after the monsoons, once the impediments were removed. The new lines will be laid right next to the existing slow lines.
“We will complete work on Andheri-Goregaon harbour line by March. This, however, wouldn’t include the proposed Oshiwara railway station,” said P Ranjan, chief spokesperson, MRVC.
Facelift for stations
The three railway stations of Andheri, Jogeshwari and Goregaon will also get a facelift as part of the project. On February 4, MiD DAY had reported about the same (‘Rs 103-crore facelift for 3 WR stations by 2014’).
As part of the facelift, the three stations will be completely modernised with escalators, elevators and multi-storey buildings.
The project is part of the Rs 5,300-crore phase II of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP).
Rs 103 cr
Amount being spent on the facelift of Andheri, Jogeshwari and Goregaon stations. This includes the cost of extention of the CST-Andheri harbour line up to Goregaon
New railway station at Oshiwara
A new railway station, Oshiwara is coming up between Jogeshwari and Goregaon. The cost of building the station is around Rs 20 crore. This too will be a part of the extended western-harbour line.
The station will only be operational after the completion of the construction of the road over-bridge (ROB), which is currently going on.
Too much on MRVC’s plate?
MRVC also has undertaken responsibility of developing a Rs 3,500-crore, high-speed suburban rail corridor in Kerala, stretching up to 100 km north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
But the pace of its Mumbai project leads one to wonder if the rail body has bitten off more than it can chew.