The delay in commencement of work in the Kurla Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) fifth and sixth line project has led to a three-fold increase in its estimated cost.
While in 1999, the cost of the project was pegged at Rs. 332.95 crore, it escalated to Rs. 924 crore in 2012.
The two extra lines that will be laid between Kurla and CST will be used to run outstation trains and goods trains. This, in turn, will free up the two existing fast lines for suburban trains and allow for an increase in the number of services.
As per a detailed estimate carried out by Central Railway (CR) recently, the cost of the project has risen to Rs. 924 crore because of a massive rise in the cost of land and technology.
This is, however, not the first time that the cost of the project has been revised. After the initial estimate in 1999, the estimated cost was increased to Rs. 537 crore in 2008.
“The first feasibility report of the project was conducted in 1998-99. Since, then a major technological revolution has taken place and the cost of land has increased manifold,” said Atul Rane, chief public relation officer (CPRO), CR.
While in 1999, the cost of land was around Rs. 84 crore, in 2012 it went up to more than Rs218 crore. There has also been an increase in cost in the work of the signal and telecommunication department from Rs. 37.53 crore in 1999 to Rs. 144.21 crore in 2012.
Officials said that the delay in the project was because of a number of time-taking processes that were involved.
“After conducting a feasibility study, the project is surveyed and a detailed plan is prepared for the required land. This is then sent for approval to the railway board and a detailed estimate is prepared. This estimate is currently being sanctioned,” explained a senior official on the condition of anonymity.
The project also includes constructing a double discharge 15-car platform, a six-metre-wide foot over bridge and an elevated ticketing counter at Parel station.