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Mumbai Metro gets the final green signal from Railway Board

The 11.04-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro has gotten the final statutory clearance from the Railway Board

Six years after work began on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro line, the project has received its final clearance. The Railway Board has given the pending statutory clearance to the 11.04-km line. This means the line can be inaugurated any day.

MMRDA officials said the issue of ticket prices would not prove to be an obstacle to opening the line to commuters. File pic
MMRDA officials said the issue of ticket prices would not prove to be an obstacle to opening the line to commuters. File pic

The VAG corridor crossed the final hurdle on Thursday, when Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority got the clearance from the Board. “We haven’t yet received an official letter from the Railway Board.

We can comment on the date of opening of the Metro only when we get the letter,” said Dilip Kawathkar, MMRDA’s joint project director. Metropolitan commissioner UPS Madan also confirmed the development, saying the required permission from the railway ministry had been received.

This paper had reported on May 25 that the Railway Board had given the permission. Sources from railways had then told mid-day that the Ministry of Railways has cleared vital permissions required to start the commercial run.

Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd, a special purpose vehicle led by Reliance Infra and MMRDA to execute the project, wanted to hike ticket prices to account for the rise in cost of the project.

The ministry of urban development had stated that it wouldn’t allow an increase in price, which was set at Rs 9-R13. The disagreement had threatened to delay the project opening again, but MMRDA officials say such is not the case.

“Officials of MMOPL and MMRDA are in talks over the ticket prices, but they will not be a hindrance to inaugurating the project,” said a senior MMRDA official. It is expected that MMRDA will receive the letter in a couple of days.

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