If the records of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) are anything to go by, the work on the first Metro line between Versova-Andheri and Ghatkopar has been delayed.
Till October 2011, only 70% of the alignment work and 60% civil work for 12 stations have been completed. The construction work on the project began in February 2008 and is expected to be complete by March 2012. The information was obtained by RTI activist Anil Galgali to verify the claims made by bureaucrats, politicians and construction firm Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL).
“Huge amount of work is pending. As the reply has come on October 20, 2011, the information can’t be old,” said Galgali.
The agency has not set any deadline for the project. “This indicates bad planning,” said Galgali. The MMRDA did not provide any information on the cost escalation in view of the extended deadline.
The agency says the project got delayed as they had to seek administrative clearances to work on the Andheri Bridge. “Our aim is to ensure that the residents travel by metro by the last quarter of 2012,” said MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawathkar.
The authority had informed the suburban guardian minister, Arif Naseem Khan, last week that the project would have been completed by year-end had it not been for clearances.
MOPL’s official spokesperson said that they are working at a faster pace. “We have completed 85% of civil works. Nearly 70% of total works too have been completed.” The company believes there is no reason to worry about the project. “Metro will definitely get operational by November next year,” he added.