By Chittaranjan Tembhekar, TNN
MUMBAI: The launch of Metro-I project in 2006 had given Mumbaikars hope that their travel travails may abate before long. But six years on, the project is less in news for successes than for grim reports of mishaps and periodic announcements of delays.
Reliance Infrastructure, which is the major stakeholder in the consortium developing the project, Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL), blames the delay in Metro-I’s completion on MMRDA. The government agency, RInfra officials say, failed to free up land for construction on time and hand it over, causing the prolonged hold-up.
As per the contractual agreement made by MMRDA with RInfra, the former was to acquire land along Metro-I’s Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route and deliver what is called the “right of way” to MMOPL by December 2008. But that scarcely happened; in fact, till August of that year, only 20% of the land had been freed.
Thus, when construction started in October 2008, there was little path available to build on. It did not help that maps of underground utilities, such as pipelines and cables, were initially absent. MMOPL finally received 100% of the land earmarked for the project in December 2011, according to sources. More info