Variety

Mumbai on the move, with Metro, monorail ready to roll

Updated on: Dec 11, 2012
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Mumbai, the most populous city in the country and the financial and commercial capital, accounts for about 40 per cent of the national GDP.

It rewards those who put in long hours and travel in jam-packed trains and buses, braving the rain and sun.

Needless to say, the city infrastructure has never kept pace with the requirements and aspirations of Mumbaikars, though the planning agencies put in the best of efforts.

By September next, infrastructure projects worth over Rs 12,000 crore, including the first leg of the ambitious metro and monorail projects, will be completed.

The prime driver of these projects is the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

Metro rail

The MMRDA intends to develop a metro rail network of 146 km in Mumbai region and the very first line of 11.4 km metro corridor from Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri is nearing completion.

By March, the construction of this 12-station route will be completed. Mumbaikars would soon witness the metro trials, which will connect the eastern and western suburbs of the city. Travel time, which is 90 minutes today, is expected to be reduced to 35 minutes .

The air-conditioned and comfortable metro cars are expected to carry 60,000 commuters an hour in one direction. The network is being built at a cost of about of Rs 2,356 crore.

MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana told Business Line that the projects had faced numerous delays but is finally on the path of completion. “The metro tender was signed in March 2007 and we were optimistic and thought that we would be able complete it in three years but it has taken longer. The first line should have been completed by March 2012 but it got hamstrung because of a number of factors. Getting land for the car depot itself took a year. By the third quarter of 2013, the first line of metro would be operational,” he said.

The second line of the metro will be completely underground, running from Colaba to SEEPZ in Andheri (east) via Bandra. This 32-km, 27-station route is estimated to cost Rs 24, 430 crore and will be constructed with financial aid from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra.

This line will help connect Nariman Point and Bandra-Kurla Complex, the main commercial hubs with International Airport and Marol Industrial Centre. It is expected to carry about 22 lakh commuters daily. The planning work for this corridor has already commenced by MMRDA.

Monorail

Monorail trails between Chembur in the eastern suburbs to Wadala in central Mumbai have commenced. Service is likely to open by April 2013. All seven stations on this 8.6-km corridor are almost complete and the colourful rakes in the car shed are ready.

The 11.2-km second phase — Wadala to Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk (Jacob Circle) in central Mumbai — is expected to be completed by early 2014. The Rs 2,460-crore project will benefit 2 lakh commuters daily. The project is being executed by an L&T- Scomi partnership.

Kanesan Veluppillai, Group Chief Operating Officer, Scomi Group of Malaysia, said that Mumbai today requires a transportation network that would act as a feeder service to connect the mass transport systems like the existing suburban rail and the upcoming metro rail in the city capable of serving maximum traffic.

Asthana said along with the metro and monorail, the eastern elevated freeway, which is an eight-lane road connecting Chembur in the eastern suburbs with P. D’mello Road near CST will also be operational by February.

The contract for the ambitious and technically challenging 22-km sea-link connecting Sewri in Central Mumbai to Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai is also expected to be awarded April, he said.

Eastern Freeway

The Eastern Freeway project is a 17-km fast and additional corridor to connect the island city and the Eastern suburbs. It runs from Orange Gate on P.D’Mello Road near CST to Anik-Panjarpol Link Road in Chembur and further up to Ghatkopar in Eastern suburbs.

The Rs 1,100-crore project is expected to be completed by February.

It is divided in three parts. The first is the corridor from P.D’Mello Road to the beginning of Anik-Panjarpol Link Road (9.3-km). The second is the corridor from Anik to the beginning of Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road (5-km) and the third part is from Panjarpol to Ghatkopar (2.5-km).

Published on December 11, 2012

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