Mumbai Metro update
The Mumbai Metro’s second line got a boost when the Central Railway (CR) authorities said they would expedite efforts for an ‘in principle’ approval of the bridges over railway tracks at Kurla and Mankhurd. According to joint project director of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the CR has shown its commitment to the bridge, which is an essential part of the 32-km second line of the Metro from Charkop to Mankhurd via Bandra. He said that both the organizations were in the process of finalising the technical details of the bridges. The corridor has 27 stations and will cost an estimated Rs 8,250 crore. Citizens’ groups from Juhu and Bandra had asked for an underground Metro line instead of an elevated one and even staged protests. The MMRDA, however, insists that the underground line will cost three times the elevated one, something the government cannot afford. In another development, the Metro’s first line from Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri also got a fillip when the commissioner of railway safety, WR, gave the necessary clearances on Tuesday to build the substructure (foundation) over which the pillars will be built to support the bridge over Andheri station. The alignment of the bridge is on the northern side of the station. The MMRDA and WR signed an agreement last month, which gave the railways permission to build the bridge over the tracks. The line is being built by Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), jointly owned by Reliance Infra, MMRDA and a French multinational, Veolia. WR officials said they would give the MMRDA two-hour blocks in the night to carry out work. “We will give MMRDA more time on a caseto-case basis,” an official said. The permission for building the Metro bridge at Andheri had been delayed for almost two years with the railways insisting that the design must be in keeping with safety standards which they were used to. MMPOL has prepared a design for a concrete bridge. However, this has to be changedto a steelbridge.Railway officials insisted the safety precautions were important if they were to prevent any accident.