With just nine months left for the deadline, work on the most important phase of Mumbai’s first Metro route — Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar — is set to begin. Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), which is building the Metro, will soon begin erecting a 10-metre-high pillar between the railway tracks for fast and slow trains at Andheri.
Western Railway (WR) would shift cables, wires and other utilities next to the tracks in the coming week.
It is on this pillar that the Metro cars will run, directly above the rail route.
“The pillar is the most complicated part of the project. We have asked WR to move the utilities underneath the tacks,” said KP Maheshwari, MMOPL director.
This pillar would support girders connecting Andheri east and west. The Metro cars would run perpendicular to the railway line on these girders.
WR will barricade area to ensure that work on the pillar does not delay train services and most of the work would be carried out late at night.
WR sources said on condition of anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media that as of now they would only remove stones and excavate the spot where the pillar will come up.
“You cannot start construction until the Commissioner for Railway Safety approves it. MMOPL hasn’t ye t got this permission. They submitted their [technical] drawings only recently,” said a senior WR official.
MMOPL and WR have been at loggerheads for several months over permissions for construction over the railway line. “We will see the final set of designs and only after scrutinising it will we give the go-ahead for any work,” said S Chandrayan, WR’s chief public relations officer. The railways have proposed an elevated corridor above the line, to be constructed 16 metres above the tracks. This elevated corridor between Churchgate and Virar would run above the Metro line.