Two Mumbai Metro lines likely to miss 2019 deadline
Delay in procurement of rakes and in fulfilment of technical clauses will delay the opening of Metro-7 (Dahisar East-Andheri East) and Metro-2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar) lines.mumbai Updated: Mar 15, 2018 11:03 IST
Two new Mumbai Metro lines, which were expected to be operational by next year, may now take a little longer. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government had proposed to throw open the two lines – Metro-7 (Dahisar East-Andheri East) and Metro-2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar) – before the Assembly polls likely to be held next year, but delay in procurement of rakes and in fulfilment of technical clauses has hit their plans.
According to Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) officials, the Metro lines will have to be run without passengers for six months to obtain various clearances from the Research, Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), the Railway’s research arm. The RDSO is a statutory technical body, which certifies rail system for safety, based on international standards.
Officials are targeting a December 2018 deadline for completion of civil works for Metro-7 and a March 2019 deadline for Metro 2A. Other works related to the signalling system, viaducts and stations will take another year, after which the safety tests will be conducted.
A senior MMRDA official said, “Obtaining clearances from RDSO is mandatory for all Metro works and the process will take a minimum of six months.” The official said that MMRDA will issue tenders for obtaining rolling stock for the two lines by this month. “Policy-related issues with the Asian Development Bank delayed the process of issuing tenders for the rolling stock.”
Sources said the process of getting rolling stock will take more than a year.
The state is expected to go to polls in 2019 owing to which the BJP government has been keen on making the two lines operational.
HT had reported that till October 2017, MMRDA’s spending on the two Metro lines has been very poor. According to the Economic Survey of Maharashtra, the planning authority has spent 1.93% or Rs124 crore of the Rs6,410 crore estimated for Metro 2A and only 7.21% or Rs448 crore of the Rs6,208 crore earmarked for Metro-7.