The metro trail run on a small stretch along the 11-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) has been pushed ahead to May as per the new schedule. The stretch covered during the trial run will be 2-3 km long between Versova metro station and Azad Nagar station instead of the earlier 8 km-stretch.
Earlier this month, MiD DAY had reported that the trial run was scheduled to begin in the third week of April. According to highly placed sources in Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the trial run between Versova and Airport road station is scheduled to take place on August 15.
The MMRDA now plans to commence the metro services in two phases due to pending work on the line. As per the current plans, phase I will be from Versova to Airport road station, which is expected to start services by September and phase II from Airport road station to Ghatkopar will be initiated later.
An MMRDA official requesting anonymity said, “Earlier, we were supposed to start the trial run this month, however due to pending work we’ve had to postpone. According to the new schedule, trial run on the 2-3 Km stretch between Versova and Azad Nagar will be conducted next month. Once the trial on the 2-3 km stretch is successful, we will see to it that the trial run between Versova and Airport road station is completed by August 15.”
Work in progress
The VAG corridor, so far has seen completion of laying tracks, overhead electrification between the Versova and Azad Nagar stretch. Sources also told this newspaper that the trial run might take place in May on the occasion of Maharashtra Day.
At the same time, electrification and Over Head Equipment (OHE) work is already in progress on the 8-km stretch between Versova and Marol, where the trial run will be conducted at a later stage. The trial run will go on for about three months, following which the CRS inspection will be conducted. The 11.07-km VAG metro corridor is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2,356 crore and will be the first metro corridor in the city to will facilitate west-east connectivity.
Reduced travel time: The entire 11.07 km distance can be covered in 21 minutes as against the present 90 minutes.
Less pollution: The project will ease vehicular traffic and cut down pollution. It will provide rail-based access to MIDC, SEEPZ and other commercial developments.