MMOPL, MMRDA blame each other for VAG corridor delay
Taking their bickering to the next level, the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) said the main reason for slow pace of work on the 11.07-km-long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) metro rail corridor was the delay exhibited by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in giving them the Right of Way (ROW).
Countering the allegations levelled by the MMOPL officials, an MMRDA official said there was only a slight delay in giving them the ROW. The officials also pointed out that the MMOPL is yet to finish construction of the car depot on the plot that has been in its possession for a long time.
A senior MMRDA official, requesting anonymity, said, “It is easy to point a finger at us, saying that reason for the delay in construction of the VAG corridor is because the MMRDA did not give the ROW on the dates it had promised. But at the same time, I would like to ask MMOPL officials that why they haven’t finished constructing the car depot? The land plot has been in its possession for a long time. This shows that there is lack of planning and implementation on their part.”
The MMOPL was recently handed over 100 per cent ROW after the MMRDA officials successfully resolved construction issues near Maheshwar temple in Andheri (W) a few days ago.
As per the concession agreement signed between the two parties, the MMOPL should have received at least 45 per cent of ROW by February 2008. But problems faced by the MMRDA during acquisition of land hampered the procedure. As per agreement, the MMOPL was supposed to receive 100 per cent ROW by December 2008, but received just 45 per cent.
Some of the MMOPL officials claimed that despite the agreement, only 20 per cent of the ROW was given to them and was insufficient to commence construction work.
Currently, the MMOPL is constructing a metro car depot in Andheri (W) on plot measuring 9.75 hectares. This depot will have parking space for 21 metro trains, an operation control centre, a playback training room, a receiving traction substation and an administrative facility.
An MMOPL official, requesting anonymity, said, “I would like to make it clear that we are strictly on schedule. So it is wrong if someone says our car depot has been delayed.
Constructing car depot on the land provided by the MMRDA was not an easy task, as the plot is located in a marshy area. We had to fill the land, which took lot of time. We would also like to point out that depot structure of the VAG metro corridor has the world’s most challenging design till date. It’s the most complicated layout, executed using highly sophisticated engineering techniques.”