If you thought that in 2013 you would be traveling in relative comfort from Versova to Ghatkopar thanks to the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) metro line one then get ready to be disappointed.
Due to some construction delays, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is now planning to start the line in phases. In the first phase, the metro will run between Versova and Airport road station.
According to MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana, "There are some issues related to construction pending near Asalpha station because of which there are chances that we might have to start the metro line in phases. We will try and see to it that the line will be operational between Versova and Airport road station by mid 2013."
Sources from MMRDA told this newspaper that Subhash Nagar station is far from complete as a pier is yet to be completed adjacent to Maheshwar Temple, which is one of the reasons for the delay.
It should also be noted that the MMRDA and Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), which is constructing the 11.07 km VAG corridors, have already missed several deadlines.
Another issue of a religious structure near the railway tracks in Andheri has also been resolved successfully. "We have successfully resolved issue of the religious structure near railway at Andheri which was earlier causing obstacle for the construction of bridge passing over railway tracks at Andheri," said an MMRDA official.
At the moment work is underway at D N Nagar Depot, which is crucial to meeting the deadline.
Name of Project: Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar(11.07 km)
Cost: Original cost Rs 2356 crore. The cost has escalated to over Rs 2400 crore because of the delays.
Deadlines missed: Initially the deadline was for December 2010, which was extended to June 2011 then March 2012. Later it was again extended to November 2012. Now MMRDA is saying that it will be operational by March 2013, and that too in phases. In phase one, the line from Versova to Airport Road station will become operational.