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Maharashtra CM says Mumbai Metro line-3 will solve problem of traffic jams

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) began the trial run of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line-3 at Sariput Nagar in Aarey Colony here

Maharashtra CM Eknath Sinde with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis at the launch of the trial run of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limiteds (MMRCL) Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line-3, at Aarey Colony in Mumbai

Maharashtra CM Eknath Sinde with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis at the launch of the trial run of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limiteds (MMRCL) Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line-3, at Aarey Colony in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)

Press Trust of India Mumbai
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) on Tuesday began the trial run of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line-3 at Sariput Nagar in Aarey Colony here.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis inspected the Metro train from inside and flagged off the trial run around 11 am.
Shinde said it will solve the problem of traffic jams.
Fadnavis termed the starting of the Metro line-3 trial as a "historic moment". He said it will be the "new lifeline of Mumbai" and when the train will be run on the entire 40 km stretch, it will be a "spiritual satisfaction" for citizens.
MMRCL Managing Director Ashwini Bhide was present on the occasion.
The Metro line 3, which will be a 33.5 km underground route, will connect south Mumbai with the western suburbs and is expected to reduce the burden on the suburban locals, which are considered as the city's lifeline.
The trial run marks an important development in the realisation of the Metro track shrouded in controversy over the construction of its car shed.
Shinde said the "Vighnaharta" (remover of obstacles) has taken away most of the troubles of the state.
Listing various benefits of the Metro line-3 project, like reducing the burden on suburban locals, cars on roads and bring down pollution, he said the Metro project has stopped the "political pollution" as well.
Fadnavis said the testing of the Metro train on line-3 was successful and all its obstacles have been removed.
"The previous government tried to shift the car shed to Kanjurmarg. Irrespective of shifting it to Kanjurmarg, it was necessary to create some infrastructure here at Aarey, he said.
The opposition to the Metro line-3 project (car shed) was more political than for environmental reasons, he said.
"Nearly 17 lakh people will travel daily on this line once it is operational. With the commencement of this line, nearly seven lakh vehicles will go off road. It will definitely support the environmental cause, he said.
"I feel now nobody can stop this Metro from running, that is the signal we have given," Fadnavis said, adding that the CM, immediately after taking oath (on June 30 this year), has removed all obstacles of this project.
Shinde said the underground metro is a very ambitious project and it is going to provide a "ramban" (foolproof) solution to the problem of traffic jams.
The train is very comfortable and hence, people would not have to bring their vehicles out on roads. This will save time and reduce pollution in the city, he said.
Shinde said during the previous five-year tenure of Fadnavis as CM, several projects like Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Mahamarg were undertaken which also witnessed considerable progress.
The Samruddhi Mahamarg project will soon be completed and the stretch between Shirdi and Nagpur will be inaugurated, he added.
Fadnavis said 50 per cent of the Metro line-3 project was supposed to complete by March next year, but due to various controversies and work suspensions, it will now complete in December 2023 and the remaining 50 per cent will be completed immediately after that.
He said if CM Shinde would not have taken the decision (of Metro car shed construction in Aarey), the investment of Rs 15,000-20,000 crore would have gone waste and an additional equivalent amount would have been required for the project completion.
"It would have ultimately put a burden on Mumbaikars," he said.
The Supreme Court has in an interim order given permission considering all the environmental aspects, he said.
Around 17 lakh passengers will use this Metro line daily, 7.5 lakh vehicles will go off road and 2.5 lakh tonnes of carbon emission will stop, Fadnavis said while counting the Metro line's benefits.
He said when the Supreme Court order had given the order and 25 per cent of the project work was completed, it was unfortunate to stop the work.
"Even if the depot was taken to Kanjurmarg, there would have been a need to build 16 stabilising lines at this (Aarey) place. The ramp needs to be built at this place," he said.
As Karnjumarg is a marshy land, it would have taken two years for land stabilisation and two more years for the construction, the deputy CM said.
As per the Saunik committee report, the cost of the project was going up by Rs 15,000-20,000 crore and four additional years were required for its completion, he said.
"It is not an ego issue for any of us. It is also not the case that ours is one of the best decision in the world and it cannot be changed. But the decision which was necessary for the benefit of Mumbaikars has been taken now and was taken earlier too," he said.
The construction of Metro car shed at Aarey, a forested land adjoining the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, was one of the first decisions reversed by the Shinde-Fadnavis government formed on June 30 this year.
Last month, former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had fervently appealed to the new government "not to stab Mumbai in its heart" by going ahead with the construction of the car shed at Aarey.
Fadnavis had recently directed state Advocate General and the administration to submit a proposal on building the car shed in Aarey Colony, instead of Kanjurmarg which was chosen by the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led state government.
The Metro line-3 project is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 30 2022 | 5:50 PM IST

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