Mumbai Metro unlikely to meet March 2012 deadline


By Ketaki Ghoge

If you were expecting to travel on Mumbai’s first metro corridor from Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri early next year, think again. The deadline for completing the project was March 2012.

Now, the test run of the metro on this corridor may happen only in June 2012 and commissioning of the entire line may spill over to 2013.

On Tuesday, at its board meeting, Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), the agency that is constructing this corridor, admitted that the project would have significant time and cost overruns as there were delays in getting permissions to built bridges over the railway line at Andheri.

The building of the metro corridor over the Jog flyover also posed hurdles.

By the new estimates, the test run of the metro is possible only by June 2012. The cost of the project is Rs 2,356 crore.

“The commissioning of the entire line is anybody’s guess. The cost overruns are also significant but MMOPL did not spell them out. MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana has sought a presentation on the cost overruns by MMOPL by next week,’’ said an official present at the board meeting.

MMRDA officials admitted that given the rising costs of steel, cement and foreign exchange rates, any delay in the project would hamper costs.

“We had asked Western railways for 123 blocks of four hours each to construct the bridge but we have still not got all clearances. And, we have to get this work done in the night when trains are not operational,’’ said an MMRDA official.