Mumbai Metro One opening pushed back
Instead of the earlier promised date of March 2012, it will be in July that the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route will be thrown open. This is the third time that the inauguration for the 12-km route date has been changed. In fact, the change in date was not announced; it was a poster at the Metro site near the new Lalbaug flyover, which stated the completion date as July 2012. Officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the planning authority for Metro, admitted that the inauguration would be delayed. An official said it had to be pushed back owing to the slow progress in work on the line as well as stations. “Trial runs on a part of the tracks are likely to begin by the end of the year. After that, changes will have to be made to ensurethat all safety standards are met with. This is why the date could be extended to ensure that everything goes smoothly when the trains finally start running,” they said. MMRDA chief Rahul Asthana recently threw a hint of the impending delay when he promised to try and complete the work but did not set a deadline. Though critical of the constant change in the date of inauguration, the transport circles agreed that the agencies met quite a few challenges to build the lines. “The railways has only recently granted the MMOPL the permission to build a bridge over the Western Railway tracks near Andheri station. The task of constructing another bridge over the Jog Flyover on the Western Express Highway is Herculean. These constructions will take some time,” an official said. The Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL) is laying the tracks.