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Mumbai Metro services to begin by end of March

Authorities say the much-awaited service may be opened to the public by March 31 without a formal inauguration, provided all approvals are in place

If authorities at the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) are to be believed, the big-ticket Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) corridor could open on March 31. This, despite differences of opinion between MMOPL and the research wing of Indian Railway.

mid-day had reported yesterday about how the maximum speed of Metro would be curtailed due to difference in standards — during several trials that were carried out, the trains went up to speeds of 90 kmph. But the Research, Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Railways’ research wing, has allowed the Metro to go up to 50 kmph only.

RDSO inspected the VAG Metro corridor and submitted a report on its various parameters.

Moreover, the operational average speed could be as low as 35 kmph. Sources in railways said that very soon even the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) would undertake an inspection of the entire 11.07-km Metro route. After this, the compiled report shall be given to the Railway Board.

Once the multi-crore project gets the final clearance, it can be thrown open to the public without any formal inauguration. “If all permissions come in, then we would open the Metro rail by March 31,” said an MMOPL spokesperson. Government officials claim that they are doing everything to expedite this process, as the code of conduct levied for the general elections wouldn’t affect the starting of an ongoing project that is ready. The project is already running late by two years; it was supposed to be opened in 2012, but was delayed due to several reasons.

The many delays were mainly due to Right Of Way (ROW) at several locations over the years, shifting of underground utilities, laying of lines over rail tracks and red tape at various levels. 

Presently, there are 16 trains in its fleet, with the latest arriving only a couple of weeks ago.

Rs 4,500cr 
Total cost of the VAG Metro corridor

35 kmph 
Average speed at which Metro trains would run

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