First trial runs for metro in Dec, regular commute from May 2020: Cidco
On Thursday, the town planning department announced that the project was progressing as intendedUpdated: Jan 04, 2019 00:00 IST
The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) had announced in May 2018 that it will not be able to complete the first phase of Navi Mumbai metro project by May 2019. The deadline was set by Cidco itself.
Later, Cidco officials announced a new deadline in July 2018 and said the phase 1 would be ready in May 2020.
This left the residents exasperated as they had hoped the metro would bring in the much-needed relief from the growing traffic chaos in Navi Mumbai.
On Thursday, the town planning department announced that the project was progressing as intended and trial runs are likely to being by December. It also said Cidco it is confident of meeting the May 2020 deadline.
“There are 11 metro stations in the first phase and they will be ready by October. We will take another few weeks to finish the work on tracks and signalling system. This will allow us to start trial runs by November-end or early December,” said an executive engineer from Cidco.
He added it will take another five months after the trails to secure a safety certificate.
“It will take a while to start services even after receiving the certificate. So it is likely the commuters can avail metro service from May 2020,” he said.
The Navi Mumbai metro project is divided into four phases. The first phase (which is underway) starts from Belapur railway station and ends to Pendhar near Taloja. The corridor is 11.10-km-long.
Besides constructing 11 stations, this route will have a depot-cum-workshop, which is being built at Taloja. The first phase is worth ₹3,063.63 crore.
Cidco engineer said, “We would have failed to meet the May 2019 deadline because the contractors were taking a lot of time to build the stations. So we hired new contractors in mid-2018. Now, everything is back on track.”
The first phase of the project will benefit lakhs of residents of Taloja, Kharghar and CBD Belapur. Presently, it takes around 45 minutes to reach Belapur from Taloja owing to low frequency of trains and congested roads. Once the metro becomes operational, the travel time will be reduced to 18 minutes.
In the first phase, Cidco plans to operate eight trains with three coaches each. Around 8,500 commuters are expected to use metro service every hour. The gap between two services will be eight minutes.