Will Mumbai Metro’s first phase start sooner than expected? Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) said, on Wednesday, that it was aiming at completing the project by 2011 though the official deadline was October 2012.
The 18 trains that will run on the first 20-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar stretch of the Metro will also be in the city in a phased manner by the end of 2011. These trains would be stationed at the Versova car shed as and when they are imported from China, where it is being manufactured. “We are sure of getting all the Metro trains by December next year,” said KP Maheshwari, director, MMOPL. Each train will have four coaches, but will have the capacity of being extended up to six coaches.
There is only one Metro coach lying at their car shed and depot in Versova. “It is presently under wraps as we don’t want to expose it to dust as work at this car shed is underway,” said an official from MMOPL, on condition of anonymity. The coaches are being custom-made according to the atmospheric conditions in the city while the temperature of the air-conditioner inside would be adjustable depending on the crowd in the train.
Sources in the company said they are also looking at completing this project by 2011, although they haven’t set a deadline yet. “As per the Concession Agreement we should complete this project by Oct 2012. We have already completed more than 70 per cent of the overall project, even though we get only 12 hours to work on it per day. The Delhi Metro had 20 hours of work done every day,” said the MMOPL official. Officials are attributing the slow progress of the project to the acute shortage of labour, sand, cement and other raw material.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has already decided to hold trial runs on the 3-km stretch on JP Road from Versova to Andheri station in February. However, they are yet to clear impediments in the project as no clear construction area has been provided on a 770-metre stretch of land in Asalfa.
MMOPL also needs to construct a 180-metre bridge over the railway line after getting permission to have blocks on certain sections.