Mumbaikars will have to wait longer for travelling in airconditioned metro trains. The commissioning of the 3-km Versova to Azad Nagar stretch of Mumbai Metro-I project will not be operational from September, as the Central Railway Safety Commissioner's approval is still awaited. Besides, various amenities, including lifts, staircase, canteen, sitting arrangement for commuters, are yet to be completed.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the planning and nodal agency for transport infrastructure upgrade projects, expects the stretch to be operational in December. Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure is the developer of the project. ''The clearance from the Central Railway Safety Commissioner is yet to come. Safety is of paramount importance and there will not be any compromise in this regard,” an MMRDA official told Business Standard.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, after a trial run of the metro on the stretch conducted on May 1, had indicated it would be commissioned by September, while the full 11.40-km Versova-Andheri-Gahtkopar line would be operational by December.
''The commissioning of the entire stretch of 11.40 km will be possible by early 2014. It’s difficult now to give the exact schedule,'' an official from the urban development department said. He added the project cost had already risen to Rs 4,291 crore from Rs 2,356 crore.
The government official recalled that MMRDA had estimated the project development schedule to be 2007-2012. "However, policy and regulatory clearances, apart from the removal of encroachments, delayed the implementation,'' he added.