Trial runs for two new lines of the metro project in the financial capital will be held from January 14 next year and the twin pathways collectively measuring over 35 km will be inaugurated in May 2021, top officials said on Thursday.
The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns impacted construction work on the lines, Metropolitan Commissioner R A Rajeev told reporters, adding that bulk of the labourers who had left for their villages have returned now.
Metro projects of over 337 km are being carried out in the megapolis, which has only one operational line in the over 10-km Ghatkopar to Versova stretch at present.
The two new lines are Line 2A between Dahisar to D N Nagar in Andheri having 17 elevated stations, and Line 7 from Dahisar east to Andheri east with 13 elevated stations.
Rajeev further said two units of six-coach rakes will start arriving by December as against the earlier expectation of August. By May, the lines would have five rakes each to begin operations.
At the beginning, trains will have a frequency of 20-25 minutes and users will be charged as per the 2016-approved rates which start at Rs 10 for a journey of up to 3 km, he said.
As against over 7,000 workers working on the metro projects at the peak, there are 6,300 at present and special teams have been formed to work on specific stretches identified as challenging, he said.
Rajeev also hinted that there may be cost escalation in the projects but declined to quantify the same.
To a question on the vexed issue of Aarey forest and having a car shed there, Rajeev said work will be done as per the directions of the state government.
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