Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday flagged off the trial run of the much-anticipated Mumbai metro which ran for three kilometres between Versova and Azad Nagar. The first phase of the metro, to run between Versova and Airport Road, is expected to be operational by September. The fare will vary from Rs6 to Rs10, depending on the distance.
Following the trial run, the authorities are now working overtime to take the metro across the Andheri railway tracks, which is likely to happen only by month-end. The task of finishing the railing and electrification along the route between Azad Nagar and Airport Road is being carried out on a war footing.
The next target is to run the coaches on two bridges - Andheri railway bridge and the cable stayed across Jog flyover on Western Express Highway at Andheri - to conduct tests for mandatory certifications. It is scheduled to happen by May-end. The trial run for the metro up to Airport Road station will happen in the first week of June.
“We expect the first phase from Versova to Airport Road to start by September and the second phase from Airport Road to Ghatkopar by year-end. It has been a challenging task as the construction of this particular corridor posed questions such as decades-old and unmapped underground utilities, congested areas and never-ending traffic snarls,” Chavan said.
The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro will improve East-West connectivity. Chavan on Wednesday said the cabinet committee will give its nod to metro rails in Pune and Nagpur too. The state has already given an in-principle approval to the Churchgate-Virar elevated corridor.
The Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium, Mumbai Metro One Private Limited, and the MMRDA officials faced many challenges to secure clearances from other government agencies and even to resettle project affected persons along the corridor.