With work on two new metro lines set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, the ambitious Mumbai metro network, stalled for various reasons till last year, seems to be getting back on track.
The BJP-led state government, which is set to complete a year this month, has revised the metro master plan to develop a 170-km network. The two new metro lines between Andheri and Dahisar will boost connectivity in northern parts of the western suburbs.
Modi, who will arrive in Mumbai on Sunday, will lay the foundation stone for the new lines. The state government plans to start construction by March 2016 to make them operational by 2019.
Turning down the proposal for underground metros, as envisaged by the previous Congress-NCP government, the BJP government has decided to build all upcoming metro lines as elevated corridors to speed up work and minimise costs.
Narinder Nayar, chairman of Mumbai First, said, “There have been many positive developments in the past year. The government must now ensure timely implementation.”
CM Devendra Fadnavis recently visited Japan, where he held talks for a loan for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project from a Japanese bank, which is expected to be finalised by end of the year.
The state government has also followed up the coastal regulation zone amendment issue with the union environment ministry to execute the coastal road. The previous government had failed to do so even though the Congress was in power at the centre at the time. However, the present government is not without its critics. Transport activist Rishi Agarwal said, “Officials said the car depot for Metro 3 will be shifted to Kanjurmarg but have kept option of Aarey Colony open. This raises doubts about the government’s intentions when dealing with issues raised by citizens.”