CM Eknath Shinde with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis at the launch of the trials of trains for Metro-3 at Aarey on Tuesday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Further delays would have increased additional ticket costs for Metro-3, which will now thankfully not happen," said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, while flagging off the train trials on Tuesday morning.
He said the state government had managed to salvage the much-delayed Mumbai Metro Line 3 (Aqua line) in time, and that it would now be completed on schedule in phases starting December 2023 and any further delay would have unnecessarily burdened Mumbaikars.
Trials of trains on Mumbai*s most controversial Metro rail - Aqua Line 3 that covers 33.5 km from Colaba to Bandra to SEEPZ - are being held at the temporary facility in the absence of a depot to save time and to expedite the commissioning of Phase 1.
Before giving the green signal, Shinde and Fadnavis inspected the Metro train. MMRCL Managing Director Ashwini Bhide said this was the longest, single-corridor underground Metro project in the country.
Shinde said that he did not see any more obstacles in the smooth commissioning of the Metro-3 corridor. "The project has been taken up to boost public transport in the larger interest of the public," he said.
"The delay was more due to political reasons than environmental. Even if the carshed would have moved to Kanjurmarg, the existing place at Aarey would have been required to have 16 stabling lines. Further, the land at Kanjurmarg would have taken two years to stabilise, pushing the date further ahead," Fadnavis said.
The initial design proving trials would be taken for a stretch of 3 km on the Down main line between the ramp at SEEPZ to Marol Naka, further extended to 5 km. "Once the crossover facility to change the tracks between up and down lines is ready at Sahar Road station, the final design proving train trial runs will be carried out at the maximum permissible design speed," an official said. Initially, nine of the 31 trains are set to arrive on the line.