Mumbai's commuting woes to continue as 2 big harbour line projects delayed again

  • Prajakta Chavan Rane, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 24, 2015 22:31 IST

While Maharashtra is insisting for new railway infrastructure projects for Mumbai in the upcoming railway budget, it is yet to complete work on some of the ongoing projects that will provide relief to thousands of commuters.

Two crucial projects on the harbour line — the conversion of 9-car services to 12-cars, and the Andheri to Goregoan harbour line extension — have been delayed by yet another year.

For the more than 10 lakh harbour line commuters, this means they will have to continue travelling in the overcrowded 9-car trains till March 2016.

Similarly, the much-required and delayed extension of Andheri to Goregoan harbour line may not be completed before December 2015.

“It’s highly unfair for us. We pay the same fare as any other line, but are always the last ones to receive any facilities, including new trains, railway lines or 9-car to 12-car conversion,” said Amit Palav, a Chembur resident.

Work on the Andheri-Goregoan harbour line extension, worth Rs150 crore, has been hit owing to an encroachment on a small portion of land (133.60 sqm) near Jogeshwari station level crossing.

The land that originally belongs to the suburban collector has been encroached upon by three establishments, who have approached the district court for compensation.

“We have document that prove that these structures are here since 1976, which makes us eligible for compensation, but the state government is not giving us anything,” said Khalid Azam, one of the shop owners.

The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) Ltd needs three plots admeasuring 222.90 sqm to complete the extension work between Andheri-Jogeshwari. For this, Rs84.20 lakh has already been paid to the state government in February 2014.

Of these, one is under litigation, while two come under level crossing and officials claim the physical possession of these plots has still not been handed over.

“The requisite clearances and permissions for Andheri-Goregoan harbour line are received from suburban collector. We are looking forward to completing both the works by March 2016,” said Prabhat Sahai, MRVC chairman and managing director.

The harbour line 9-car to 12-car conversion work at Wadala is awaiting crucial sanctions from the commissioner of railway safety (CRS).

“Both these work involve lot of technicalities in terms of laying tracks and shifting of the equipment. Besides, in four months of monsoon, we won’t be able carry out any work. Therefore, even if we get the land by April, the work will start only after monsoon,” said a senior MRVC official, requesting anonymity.

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