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India’s Longest Underground Metro to Open in Mumbai Soon; Trials Likely to Begin by October

Phase 1 of Mumbai Metro 3 likely to be ready for trial by October | Image Credit: @MumbaiMetro3

Photo : Twitter

Mumbai: Phase 1 of India’s longest underground Metro project- between Colaba, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Aarey- is estimated to open for commuters any time by December or within three months after that, however, the big-ticket Metro 3 project is nearing an important phase as authorities work to complete the first phase by October for trial runs. Being the only Metro corridor in Mumbai to connect its suburbs to the island city, Mumbai Metro project is seen as one of its most prestigious projects of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC). The corridor will also provide connectivity to the key financial district of BKC and link the international and domestic terminals of the Mumbai airport.

Work on the project started in 2016-end, however, it was under planning since 2011.

Ashwini Bhide, MMRC’s managing director, said, “We hope that Phase I will be commissioned this year as all work is on track. The target to commission Phase I is December 2023, but the date could be in March 2024 as well.”

The authorities have set an October deadline for the project, after which service trials can commence. Following this, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) can inspect the route from December onwards.

The 33-km length of the entire corridor (both phases) is pretty long for an underground corridor, and some stations in phase II will take more time for completion so, the metro line will see curtailed route’s opening.

Phase I (BKC-Aarey) and has nine stations and cater to major employment hubs in Mumbai like MIDC and Seepz in Andheri (East), BKC and the airport. MMRC plans to operate 110 services on the 12km section, with a travel time of 25 minutes..

The project, which was originally scheduled to be completed by 2021, saw an almost 30-month delay due to multiple issues.

Explaining the difficulties in construction work, Bhide said, “Metro 3 construction is not easy compared to a city like Delhi, where there is a lot of space and you could adopt certain construction methodologies which are less time-consuming. Here, there are 26 stations below the road, where lanes had to be blocked for traffic and temporary decks laid, to open some lanes for vehicles. These decks are now being removed, and the roads are being reinstated.”

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