Officials set to throw open the first new station on Western Line in over 50 years, thanks to 2-km east-west bridge; locals rejoice
It’s not just road commuters who will reap the benefit of the newly opened Mrinal Gore flyover, which connects the east and west sides of Goregaon. Thanks to the bridge, the long awaited Oshiwara railway station is also expected to open in six months, spelling easier travel for rail commuters as well.
The railways had first called tenders for Oshiwara railway station way back in July 2006 but work actually began only in 2007. Pics/Nimesh Dave
The Oshiwara station has been on hold for years because of the presence of a level crossing right next to it. The level crossing opens for road traffic about 10 to 15 times a day, and continues to disrupt train schedules, throwing off timings by about 5-7 minutes each time. But with the launch of the new Road Over Bridge, road traffic will now be diverted away, and the level crossing can finally be shut down for good. This will allow the railways to extend the platform at Oshiwara station, erect signals, align rail tracks and complete the electrical works.
The new flyover will not only ease traffic between east and west Goregaon, but will also bring relief to Harbour line commuters who will soon be able to board a train from Oshiwara station
Situated between the Goregaon and Jogeshwari stations, the Oshiwara station will mainly cater to the Harbour line, for which two tracks have been created. The Harbour line is currently in the process of being extended beyond Andheri, all the way to Goregaon. The entire project is expected to be completed in six months. Over the last couple of days, concrete sleepers (on which rail tracks are placed) have been fitted between Goregaon and Oshiwara stations.
“We will need around six months or even less to open Oshiwara railway station. We hope that even the Harbour line is extended till Goregaon by then,” said Prabhat Sahai, chairman and managing director at Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC).
Oshiwara is one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in the city’s western flank and is home to several industrial estates and almost the entire television industry. The new station will no doubt ease commuting woes for many of the residents.
“The railways wanted to shut this level crossing to start this station, so we demanded that a provision be made for an ROB first. I am happy that this bridge is ready and people can cross,” said TV actress Kunika Sadanand, who is also a local resident and activist.
Sujit Sonkar, a resident of Adarsh Nagar, said, “This station will surely help locals here, who otherwise have to go all the way to Jogeshwari or Andheri station. It takes lot of time for motorists and wastes both fuel and money. But now that Oshiwara station will open, it will surely save lot of time.”
“We can divert the trains from the main line but then it will be an operational hazard as train services could get delayed. So ideally the Harbour line too should complete till Goregaon in this six months,” said an official from Western Railway.
Real estate boom
Meanwhile, real estate developers are already constructing buildings nearby in anticipation that the new ROB and station will create more demand in the area. Sources said there are at least three new projects less than 2 km from the Oshiwara station. At present, the real estate price ranges from R16,000-17,000 per square foot in nearby areas like Ram Mandir road and parallel to SV Road.
“There are few mega projects lined up there, so more flats will be available for people near Oshiwara station, though not much of a hike is expected in real estate prices,” said Prakkash Rohiira, real estate consultant and broker.
The BMC is also planning to extend the second arm of the ROB soon. “We are contemplating extending the second arm till the Link Road. We will begin the tender process after monsoon,” said S Kori, chief engineer (Bridges), BMC. However, locals caution that with the new transport infrastructure and properties coming up, the BMC should also ensure that SV Road is widened. Already, there are bottlenecks between Oshiwara and Goregaon stations where on SV Road shrinks from three lanes to a single lane.
The railways had first called tenders for the Oshiwara station in July 2006, but work actually began in 2007. Since then, several deadlines have been missed for the launch, including the most recent December 2015 deadline. By 2010, MRVC had managed to create the skeletal structure of the station, including aligning the rail tracks, building subways and platforms and even a huge roof to cover the platforms. But since then, the station has witnessed very little activity because of the level crossing. The subway entrance has remained shut all this while, and the only people at the station are worker who often sleep there at night.