BJP’s Assembly poll position: Won’t speed up Metro works in Mumbai
Reason: The BJP wants to avoid a Nagpur Metro-like scenario in the city where the gap between trial runs and commercial operations stretched for more than a yearUpdated: May 05, 2019, 23:07 IST
The city and state will go into poll mode in a few months again, but the BJP’s top brass is in no hurry to speed up its Metro projects in the city.
Reason: The BJP wants to avoid a Nagpur Metro-like scenario in the city where the gap between trial runs and commercial operations stretched for more than a year.
In Mumbai, the two Metro projects — Metro 7 (Dahisar E-Andheri E) and Metro 2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar) — were initially set for a 2019 deadline. However, it has been delayed owing to issues in the tendering of rakes.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is now looking at July 2020 for trial runs to begin, followed by commercial operations by the end of 2020.
A source close to the development said, “Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis does not want a repeat of Nagpur in Mumbai. He wants commercial operations to be in full-fledged mode before inaugurating it.”
In Nagpur, the Airport-Khapri Metro’s trial runs were done in early 2018. However, operations started only in 2019. Commercial operations of the entire line are expected in another six months.
In his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, Fadnavis has been emphasising on upgrading infrastructure in the city. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also taken a dig at the previous Congress-NCP regime, who had completed only one Metro line in the city — the Metro-1 (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar).
Currently, there are six lines under construction in the city. “Even if the Metros are not inaugurated before the Assembly elections, people know the work is in full swing and the credit for it goes to the BJP government,” a BJP functionary said.
HT had earlier reported that the Maharashtra government expected to begin trial runs for 11 Metro lines in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) at different stages by the end of 2024.
Meanwhile, although it has started construction for the Metro-6 (Swami Samarth Nagat-Vikhroli) corridor, the MMRDA has called for a public consultation on May 21. The authority is looking at sharing details of the project and getting views of citizens .