Starting a project nearly two decades after it was conceptualised will cost the railways thrice the original projected cost.
The railways had, in 1991, planned to extend the Harbour line from Andheri to Goregaon. The cost estimated then was Rs 50 crore.
Work on the line started only in the end of 2008. By then, according to an internal report of the railways, the projected cost had climbed to Rs 150 crore.
“The project could not take off due to a dearth of funds then,” said a senior official from the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The MRVC has undertaken this project under the second phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP). “Such huge projects are on long-term basis and take several years to start,” said PC Sehgal, managing director, MRVC.
According to the plan, platforms six and seven at Andheri, a terminating point for Harbour line trains, will be extended to Goregaon. Space has already been created between Jogeshwari and Goregaon stations and land has been flattened to lay the tracks.
The railways will begin demolishing a toilets and ticket booking offices near these platforms from January, when an alternative booking office opens at Andheri (East). The railways will also have to modify foot over bridges and shift food stalls, Government Railway Police buildings, and other utilities at Andheri and Jogeshwari.
Work on the project has hit a roadblock at the spot between Jogeshwari and Andheri, where the Oshiwara station is to come up, and will start only after a road overbridge is built at a level crossing between the stations.
The distance between the road and the railway line in Andheri (West) is less than six metres. It will be a difficult for the MRVC to fit the up and down lines and a platform in this space.
The MRVC expects this work to complete by 2013.