Who would have thought the issue of height of railway platforms (and the subsequent dangerous gap) could lead to the metro getting delayed further!
A public interest litigation in the Bombay high court on height of railway station platforms has kept a team of Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) busy; as a result the team has been unable to submit a report on the safety trials done on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro line. This could mean that city's first metro rail won't get commissioned this financial year.
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) sources said that ideally the RDSO team should have submitted its report on oscillation and emergency braking trials by now, but inspecting suburban railway platforms (due to commuters falling into the gap) has diverted its resources.
At the moment, authorities said they can't say how long it will take to present the RDSO report, which will eventually be referred by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety for inspection. The duration of these inspections too can range from a week to a fortnight, or may be more, after which a report on the same will have to be submitted.
And that's why the assurance given by the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), which comprises MMRDA, Reliance Infrastructure and Veolia, of completing the 11.4-km-long corridor by the end of "this financial year" is unlikely to be met.
However, an MMOPL spokesperson said, "The target of opening the line, as maintained by MMOPL, has been the end of the financial year in 2014, wherein the time required to obtain various statutory approvals was duly considered. We are progressing satisfactorily and are hopeful of opening the line as planned."
Meanwhile, the last of the 16 metro trains arrived in Mumbai last week and is undergoing testing. These four-coach trains from Nanjing, China, have been designed and built to carry around 1,500 passengers at a time.