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First metro rail expected to see light of day soon

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 - 9:25am IST | Agency: dna

The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro rail is inching closer towards its opening. Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) has concluded inspection of the metro rail and is likely to issue provisional safety certificate any day after April 30.

"PS Baghel, CMRS, has concluded the physical inspection of the Mumbai Metro Line – 1. CMRS safety check is the last statutory certification requirement before the 11.4km-long line is opened for public," said an official from Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), the consortium led by Reliance Infrastructure constructing the metro rail.

CMRS had begun inspecting metro rail from April 18. Over the last 10 days various systems were checked, including rolling stock, depot, corridor, stations, track, overhead electrical equipment, workshop and control room.

"Only after being completely satisfied and concluding the detailed tests and trials, CMRS will authorise MMOPL to commence passenger operations on the line. Thereafter, MMOPL has to approach the ministry of railways for declaring the line open for public carriage," said an MMOPL official.

The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro line has been getting delayed repeatedly, the last deadline announced by the MMOPL was March 2014. Now, it has not formally announced any specific date to open the corridor for the public.

As per the concession agreement between the government and Reliance Infrastructure, the project was to get completed way back in March 2012. Since then, the project cost has shot up, along with ticket prices, and MMOPL wants yet another round of fare hike before the route is used by commuters.

Sources informed that there is a possibility of the metro rail being opened with fanfare after May 16, when the election code of conduct is no more in force. This will help the state government to officially take credit for the project and will also help in the state assembly elections scheduled for later this year.

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