Friday, August 16, 2013

Broken promise: Mr CM, metro won't roll in September

MUMBAI: Mumbaikars' long wait for the first phase of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro rail is far from over. Chief minister PrithvirajChavan won't be able to keep his promise of commissioning it next month. It has now been deferred to December.

This is one of several infrastructure projects that keep getting delayed in the city.

Sahar Elevated Road, connecting Western Express Highway to the new airport terminal, was to be ready by May. It has been deferred to December. Work on the project began over three years ago.

The worst of the delays is that of Santa Cruz Chembur Link Road (SCLR), announced way back in 2003. It was to be ready by October this year. The new date is March 2014.

Chavan has been promising that infrastructure projects worth Rs 5,000 crore will be commissioned by the year-end. Repeated delays in commissioning the metro had led Chavan to promise that it would be done in phases. The first phase between Versova and the international airport was to be commissioned in September.

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority commissioner U P S Madan said metro cannot be commissioned unless the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) gives the nod. "Inspections and trial runs are on but certificates may take a while.'' MMRDA, which is executing the project with MMOPL, said the deadline may be shifted to December.

Sources said the interiors are still to be completed. "How can the CRS be expected to give a nod when the work itself is not complete?'' asked an MMRDA official.

On Sahar Elevated Road, Madan said, "The road leads directly to the terminal and both are being completed. The underpass for the elevated road is to be completed. Since the road ends at the terminal, it is a happy coincidence that both will be ready in December.''

The need for SCLR is even more pronounced as the shift of business districts to Bandra, Andheri and Malad has seen a spike in east-west travel for work. Madan said SCLR was delayed as the heavy monsoon led the railways to refuse to allow piers to be set up across railway tracks.

Mumbai Metro to be operational this financial year: Anil Ambani

IANS | Updated Sep 05, 2012 at 11:33am IST
Mumbai: The Metro service in India's commercial capital will commence this fiscal with the completion of more than 95 per cent of its civil construction, Reliance Infrastructure Chairman Anil Ambani said on Tuesday.
Addressing the annual general meeting of the company, he said 700,000 passengers will be able to travel in Mumbai Metro, cutting the commute time from what it takes 90 minutes now with the existing modes of travel to under 20 minutes.
He said there was a huge growth opportunity in infrastructure, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announcing $1 trillion investment in ongoing 12th five year plan, of which 60 per cent is expected to come from private players.
\'Mumbai Metro to be operational this financial year\'Anil Ambani said 700,000 passengers will be able to travel in Mumbai Metro.
He said Reliance Infra had now become one of India's leading power engineering players, with a turnover of Rs 11,700 crore last year, implementing 13 projects - seven in power and six in roads.
The company, he added, had also become the largest private power distributor, delivering over 5,000 MW to 5.7 million customers in Mumbai and Delhi. The license in Mumbai, he added, had now been renewed till 2036 to serve 2.8 million residents.
He said in Delhi, the transmission and distribution losses, which were at an alarming 55 per cent, had been cut to less than 18 per cent, resulting in a saving of Rs 30,000 crore to state government.
The company's shares ended the day 1.36 per cent higher at Rs 446.35, after touching a high of Rs 448 in the interim.