You may have to wait a little more for the Metro, after smoke was seen emanating from one of the elevators at the Ghatkopar Metro station of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) project.
The Metro, which was supposed to be completed in March 2012, is supposed to be up and running by the end of this financial year. File pic
“Smoke was detected in one of the lift shafts at Ghatkopar station. A team was dispatched to investigate. With this incident, there are chances that the opening may be delayed by 3-4 weeks, as the safety inspection would take more time,” said an MMRDA official.
The Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) successfully completed RDSO tests 11 days before schedule. RDSO is a key body to certify the Metro rail for safety, based on international standards. RDSO will submit its report to the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS), who is the final authority to deem the Metro safe to be opened.
“We are waiting for RDSO to give its certificate, after which the CMRS will inspect the line and give the final certification. Then, the line can be opened to the public,” explained Metropolitan Commissioner UPS Madan. He, however, denied any knowledge about the smoke. “I am not aware of the incident. The line is completely ready. Once it gets the CMRS’ safety certificate, the Metro will be opened,” Madan added.
At the inauguration of the Wadala-Chembur Monorail, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had promised that the Metro would be functional by March. That possibility is extremely low; the CMRS inspections haven’t even begun.
Once the code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections kicks in, it’s unlikely that the state would inaugurate a huge project like Metro without a grand programme. This means the opening may be pushed to the end of April or even May.
A spokesperson said, “It was a minor incident involving smoke generated due to welding work at the lift shaft. There was no fire reported; the state-of-the-art fire alarm system installed got activated. It is designed to capture the minutest of smoke.
As part of our stringent Disaster Management Plan, the fire brigade was called in as a routine stand-by procedure. This is also in line with international standards.” He added that this wouldn’t impede the execution or approval of the Metro.