No driverless Metros in Mumbai anytime soon
Three Metro corridors --Andheri (east) - Dahisar (east) (Metro 7), DNNagar - Dahisar (Metro 2A) and Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ (Metro 3)-- are slated to be commissioned by the end of 2019 or early 2020mumbai Updated: Aug 06, 2017 23:58 IST
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) plans to procure trains that are capable of running without an operator on the unattended train operation (UTO) mode will not be operative anytime soon because the rakes won’t be pressed into service without a driver at the commissioning stage — at least three years.
Three Metro corridors --Andheri (east) - Dahisar (east) (Metro 7), DNNagar - Dahisar (Metro 2A) and Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ (Metro 3)-- are slated to be commissioned by the end of 2019 or early 2020. The MMRDA recently started inviting bids to procure the 63 rakes for Metro 7, Metro 2A and DN Nagar-Bandra-Mankhurd (Metro 2B) corridors.
Senior MMRDA officials said that the services will be run with pilots and attendants till the system is streamlined. “We have recently uploaded a draft bid document and invited suggestions from companies. Next month we will formally float the bids. We have the option to go driverless, but there will be pilots to run the train for about three years; subsequently, we can use them in multitasking,” said Pravin Darade, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation is also considering the driverless option for the Metro-3 underground corridor.
“Initially, we will need operators to run the services mainly to streamline operations. People will also be apprehensive to hop on a train, which runs without a driver. More importantly, we have to generate jobs; we can’t be seen taking them away in the name of technology,” an official said.
According to the draft bid document, the cost of procuring the 63 trains or 378 coaches is estimated to be around Rs 3,900 crore. Metro 7, 2A and 2B will have 21 coaches each. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which is assisting MMRDA in the Metro projects, will manufacture 16 trains of the 63 in accordance with the Centre’s ‘Make In India’ initiative.