Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor gets safety nod; one more hurdle to go

With the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) clearing the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) corridor, this mega city is all set to get its first-ever Metro line. It’s been seven years in the making.

The moment the Railway Ministry shows the green signal to the rolling stock and electrification, the last hurdle to Metro becoming operational will be crossed.

“The final safety inspection by the CMRS was completed on April 28. Once the final certificate is received from the Ministry, the line will be open for commercial use within seven days,” said Sanjay Sethi, Additional Commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

Travel time on the 11.4-km stretch between Versova and Ghatkopar is likely to come down by more than an hour.

The air-conditioned, four-car Metro is expected to carry 60,000 commuters per hour in either direction. Once the eastern and western suburbs are connected, traffic snarls on this route will likely reduce, say MMRDA officials.

The contract for constructing the VAG corridor was awarded to the consortium of Reliance Energy Limited, a Reliance ADA Group Company; Veolia Transport, France; and the MMRDA.

The Metro project has reached this stage after having missed several deadlines. Conceived in 2007, it was to have been completed in five years. With a delay of two years, the project cost has doubled — from Rs. 2,356 crore in 2007 to Rs. 4,321 crore.

Two other Metro lines are also under construction. Line 2, a 31.87-km elevated corridor, begins from the northern suburbs at Charkop and stretches up to Mankhurd (via Bandra and Kurla) in the east. Metro Line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) is 32.50 km long and fully underground with 27 stations. In February, the MMRDA, in charge of planning and executing infrastructure projects in the region, also started the first phase of Monorail. The corridor connects the eastern suburbs of Wadala and Chembur.

Although inaugurated with much pomp, Monorail has turned out to be one of the most underutilised public transport utilities in the city.

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