A group of top railway officials led by the Railway Board chairman, Arunendra Kumar, met with Maharashtra chief secretary JS Saharia and his team on Monday and discussed various railway projects that are pending across the state.
The major issue in Mumbai was the delay with regard to a road overbridge at Oshiwara, where a new station is being built. The bridge will replace a level crossing nearby that is to be closed.
The railway officials urged the state government to expedite the bridge work so that the station can be commissioned soon.
The Oshiwara station proposal was first taken up under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2002, but several deadlines have lapsed with the Western Railway, the BMC and state officials unable to co-ordinate action.
The scheduled opening of the station in 2009 had to be put off after residents insisted that the level crossing could be shut only after the road overbridge was built.
The bridge was to be built by the BMC. Nevertheless, the railways took up the station work leaving the level crossing in place.
Western Railway officials told dna that more than 80 percent of the construction work for the station had been done and that the station could be commissioned within four months of the completion of the bridge.
"It is an example of how slowly things have moved with regard to railway infrastructure. The state and railway agencies not been able to agree on anything. The ultimate loser is the Mumbaikar," said an official associated with the project.
The Oshiwara station is part of the plan to extend the harbour line beyond Andheri to Goregaon. It is possible that the line may be commissioned minus the Oshiwara station.
"We believe that we would be able to commission the harbour line extension to Goregaon by December or March. It doesn't seem that the road overbridge at Oshiwara would be ready by then. So the people living in Oshiwara will not be benefited," an official said.
Asked about the bridge work, Dr DK Sharma, principal secretary, transport, said "There are some 104 level crossing in the state that are to be closed progressively and bridges have to built in these places."
Sharma said the officials also discussed the matters of rail track deaths, the footboard-platform gap and the need to have closed-door trains.
The Railway Board chief also met chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.