Slow, but nevertheless, the preliminary work on the Mumbai Metro railway project has finally begun. The consortium led by Reliance Energy which is developing the Rs 2,356 crore project has begun with the mandatory geo-technical investigation.
This exercise of soil testing has begun in 10-12 locations on the Andheri end of the Andheri-Versova Ghatkopar line of the project. This is actually a process wherein digging is undertaken to the rock level to find out the strength of the soil along with the height till which the pier can be built.
Alongside soil testing, the crucial and elaborate process of translating the project drawings on paper to an actual field exercise is also on the way. Project director, Mumbai Metro Railway project, GR Madan of the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) said, "The second part is very important because for the first time, all the drawings and markings are actually being done on the ground level. This whole process will take another month to complete." As part of this, a detailed underground mapping will be done to find out the exact location of the utilities along the Metro line. This would enable the process of beginning to shift all those utilities which fall underneath or in some cases, maybe alter the line to avoid overlapping with them.
The final leg of the investigation will be a condition survey wherein buildings which are dangerously close to the first Metro line along the Andheri-Versova-Ghatkopar corridor will be studied. In case, if a few buildings are in a bad condition and are near the line, then the residents maybe shifted during the development of the project and loved in later. Madan added, "We are also planning to photograph the present condition of a few buildings before the project begins to map the extent of damages which may occur and if required, we may also compensate for the damages." However, an earlier survey has revealed that only a few buildings will be affected in the Ghatkopar end of the first line.
Meanwhile, Reliance Energy has already floated two expressions of interest (EOI) to appoint contractors for the civil works and for the rolling stock (coaches) for the project.