People living along the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro corridor are having a tough time with trials on the line entering the final stages. They are complaining of the noise that the rakes generate as they make their way to and fro on the 11.4-km stretch between Versova and Ghatkopar almost every 10 minutes.
The corridor has to undergo rigorous tests before it's opened to the public.
Rajesh Lakhanpal, a resident of Kanyakumari Housing Society (KHS) on Andheri-Kurla Road told dna: "No doubt we all want a modern metro. But the trials that go through the night are giving us sleepless nights, literally. The noise level is abysmal."
KHS had, in fact, shot off a letter to Reliance Infra-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authorities (MMRDA) last November complaining of the noise levels. "The two agencies have not cared to even respond," rued Lakhanpal.
Residents of several buildings in close proximity to the corridor voiced similar sentiments. "The rakes look very modern and the stations too look good. The construction on JP Road and Andheri-Kurla Road might have been a huge challenge. However, the noise is a let-down. Is it because engineers have not done enough to contain noise levels?" asked a Greenwoods Society resident.
Incidentally the engineers involved have used over 210 different designs to construct the pillars on the corridor, which in itself might be a record.
The VAG corridor, expected to be commissioned in the next couple of months, will see a fleet of 21 rakes being operated between 5am and 12 midnight.
The noise from VAG corridor could become a major headache once the route gets commissioned. The fear, several residents told dna, is because it has been built on one of the most traffic-heavy stretches, and at several spots, the structure is hardly a few metres away from residential buildings.
Among the really shocking examples of this 'in your face' construction can be seen at: Azad Nagar station, which is a touch away from Punjabi Society on JP Road; the Jama Masjid area on western side of Andheri station, where the cap of a pillar rests on the roof of a chawl; and Chandra Niwas at Andheri-Kurla Road-Church Road junction.
"The system noise levels have been designed as per the provisions of the Concession Agreement and is based on international practices; the noise-level as measured during the trial runs with the highest speed (90 km per hour) has been found to be in the permissible range. As part of our policy, we provide the highest priority to safety and environment, and we are working on improving the standard further," an MMOPL spokesman said.