‘Trial runs for Metro-2A, Metro-7 to start in Sept 2020’
Six years after Mumbai got its first Metro, a 11.5-km Versova-Andheri corridor, Mumbaiites can expect two more Metro lines to be operational in 2020. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which has currently undertaken construction of six Metro lines, hopes to carry out trial runs for two corridors – Metro-2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar) and Metro-7 (Dahisar E-Andheri E) – in September 2020.
Excerpts from an exclusive chat with metropolitan commissioner RA Rajeev:
MMRDA has undertaken a lot of infrastructure projects in the city. Which ones are expected to be completed in 2020?
We are aiming to complete work on Metro-2A and 7. We are looking at initiating trial runs for the two corridors in September 2020. Apart from this, we are looking at completing the Kalanagar flyover and two flyovers on the Eastern Express Highway in 2020. We also plan to undertake phase-1 of the signal-free Western Express Highway project next year. The project will look at pilot junction improvements and making some design changes to improve the arterial road.
There is a perception that the Metro works have slowed down after the new government (Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi) took over? What do you have to say about that?
It is not true at all. Works are going on at the same speed. There has been no slowdown owing to the change in regime. There were a few problems with some contractors, but all works are going as per the schedule.
Which Metro lines are expected to roll off in 2020?
We are looking at starting works on Metro-10 (Gaimukh-Shivaji Nagar), Metro-11 (Wadala-General Post office) and Metro-12 (Kalyan-Taloja), which were given cabinet approvals in 2019. We are also looking at achieving financial closure for these lines and Metro-4 (Wadala-Kasarvadavali), Metro-4A (Kasarvadavali-Gaimukh), Metro-5 (Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan) and Metro-6 (Swami Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli). In fact, we will sign the agreement for Metro-4 with Germany-based KFW in January 2020. The work on Mumbai-Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) is also speeding up. We will issue tenders for the Sewri-Worli elevated connector in 2020. This road will connect MTHL to the Bandra-Worli sea link.
A partial shutdown was observed in parts of Srinagar on Saturday on the call of separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on the death anniversaries of his father Molvi Mohammad Farooq and senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone. Another local said commercial activities were also suspended in Khanyar, Fatah Kadal, Habba Kadal and Bohri Kadal areas.
Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday reshuffled four Indian Police Services officers. A 2003-batch IPS officer, PD Prasad, has been posted as inspector general of southern range in superannuation of Himanshu Mishra. Rameshwar Singh Thakur, IG, state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau, has been posted as the IG CID (intelligence). HP principal secretary, health, Subashish Panda said allied health professionals play an important role and the state government would be soon implementing the same.
The head priest of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, Pandit Amir Chand, passed away at his residence in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on Saturday morning, officials said. Pandit Chand belonged to the family of Pandit Shridhar, who believed to have discovered the three-peaked cave shrine in Trikuta Hills some 700 years ago. “The mortal remains of the priest were consigned to flames at Banganga later in the day,” said a police officer.
J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said terrorism is the gravest threat to peace and prosperity and no one will be allowed to create disturbances in UT. Sinha administered the 'Anti-Terrorism Pledge' to senior officials, DCs and SSPs at Raj Bhawan to mark the observance of Anti-Terrorism Day. “I reaffirm our strong commitment to uphold peace and harmony and to defeat the forces of disruption threatening human lives,” he said.
Veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said the current tourism boom in Jammu and Kashmir is due to the rising temperature in the rest of the country and not because of any improved situation in the UT. Azad made the assertion, reiterating his stand on the Delimitation Commission report, saying that “the tailor-made report is in contradiction with the ground realities”. He is scheduled to return to Srinagar on Sunday.