Part of Navi Mumbai Metro Line 1 between Central Park in Kharghar and Pendhar can start operations in Dec 2021
The Navi Mumbai residents can take a Metro from Central Park in Kharghar to Pendhar by the end of this year if all goes according to plan.
This corridor is of 5km length and has five stations – Pendhar, Pethali Taloja, Amandoot, Pethapada and Central Park.
The Navi Mumbai Metro project, which is delayed by more than a decade, is now expected to start operations on the remaining six stations from Belapur to Kharghar by December 2022.
The Navi Mumbai integrated elevated metro rail corridor is expected to not just connect the city’s nodes and boost the transit system but also act as an economic booster.
CIDCO is developing four elevated corridors under the Navi Mumbai Metro project that will connect to the proposed international airport. The entire first phase is a 11km-line from Belapur to Pendhar and is a ₹4,000-plus crore project. It has 11 stations, a depot for maintenance at Taloja and two traction sub-stations in Panchanand and Kharghar.
Following constant delays, CIDCO, in February this year, appointed Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (Maha Metro) for completion of Line 1. Maha Metro will also run services on Line 1 for 10 years as per an agreement in July this year.
CIDCO VC-MD, Sanjay Mukherjee, said, “The project was delayed due to several engineering and other issues. The car sheds were ready, rakes procured but the stations did not come up. Maha Metro has a good track record on Metro project and hence its expertise has been sought for completion of the project and also for running it.”
The trial run of Line 1 was conducted successfully earlier this year. This was followed by Oscillation Trial under the guidance of Research Design and Structured Organisation (RDSO) in September. The ministry of telecommunications then inspected Stations 1 to 10 on the route and granted the Dynamic Clearance Certificate recently.
The next step will be the ISA certification.
Mukherjee added, “With several important permissions in, we are now aiming for safety certification from commissioner, Metro Rail Safety. We will then be able to start partial commercial operations of Line 1 from by year end. The full operations should begin from December 2022.”
On Lines 2 and 3, the detailed project report of which has been approved by CIDCO, Mukherjee said that they were waiting for a cabinet resolution by the Government of Maharashtra and a Government of India notification authorising it as the agency for the project.
Special emphasis has been given to make Metro accessible to people. This includes provision of feeder buses, shared auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws, bicycles and scooters. Similarly, for the convenience of passengers, lift and escalators have been provided at all stations. Provisions have also been made for disabled persons.
A spokesperson of Maha Metro said, “Various civil, electrical and system works that include electrification, signalling, telecommunications, among others for the Kharghar to Pendhar line are in the advanced stage of completion. The track work has also been completed.”
The responsibility of Maha Metro includes recruitment and training of train operators, controllers, security and safety personnel and station staff, safe and punctual running of train and to provide passenger amenities at stations.
Dinkar Samant, Urban planner, said, ”Kharghar will benefit from this Metro project as around a 7km stretch of Kharghar is along the Sion-Panvel Highway. The Metro will reduce the traffic congestion here. The major housing projects in Kharghar too will benefit from the Metro. Places like Taloja and its surrounding areas including Ghot and Koyanaville villages will be connected to rail routes.”
Bhupendra Shah, Chairman Trustee Board, Builders Association of Navi Mumbai, said, “A separate Metro line should be laid along with the under-construction Mumbai Trans Harbour Link connecting Mumbai to Navi Mumbai. It is a good move to connect Mumbai and Navi Mumbai airports through Metro as is seen in international cities like Singapore and Dubai. The Metro will boost the economy just as the railway did.”