Mumbai: To complete the ongoing metro project work on time, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has been sending reminders to its contractors about the set deadline.
In a recent move, the authority also terminated the contract with SIMPLEX and MBZ-RCC for carrying out the work at a snail's speed, setting a strong message among other contractors that they too might lose their job on similar lines. The contractors are asked to provide additional manpower to meet the project deadline.
Commenting on the termination of work with the two metro contractors for slow work, Mumbai-based urban transport expert Ashok Datar said, "Metro doesn't make profit unless it has a location advantage. The Delhi metro is an example, where it is proved that it is not getting the kind of expected ridership.
As the construction of metro is a costlier investment, delay in executing the project work will only add additional burden. A single day delay will also cause huge losses. Hence, more attention should be given on the timely completion of the project.
Besides, everyday the traffic is increasing. It is important that metros should be constructed within the set timeline. The authority should not accept even the slightest of excuse from contractors over delaying the project work."
Urban transportation infrastructure is undergoing massive up-gradation. Interestingly, in Mumbai, the highest amount of metro construction work is underway as compared to other cities like Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, and Bangalore, amongst others. MMRDA is undertaking 337 kilometres of 14 metro lines costing Rs 1.4 lakh crores.
On the 14 metro lines project work, RA Rajeev, commissioner of MMRDA, said, "Metro work is going on at a good speed. I, myself, am taking regular updates from my engineers and general consultants. The contractors appointed for the civil work are time and again sent reminders whenever we feel the work is going slow.
To complete the project on the set timeline, we have asked them to put additional labourers and machinery if required, so the work is not affected. We are aiming to complete all 14 metro lines as per the set-deadline."
According to the data assessed by this paper, of a total of 14 metro lines, civil work has started in six lines while the remaining are in different stages. For the Kanjurmarg-Badlapur--Metro14 and Shivaji-Chowk Mira Road/Virar--Metro 13, the feasibility study is in process.
Similarly, Gaimukh-Shivaji Chowk (Mira road) Metro-10, Wadala-CSMT--Metro 11, and Kalyan-Taloja--Metro 12 have received the cabinet's approval and their tenders will be called soon, says MMRDA officials. Additionally, the Mumbai Airport -Navi Mumbai international airport--Metro 8 detailed project report is being prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
The other metro lines' civil work that have started include the Dahisar East to Andher East--Metro 7 project, where 73 per cent of the civil work is complete until now. Similarly, in the DN Nagar to Dahisar Metro 2A project, 75 percent of work is done, and in the DN Nagar to Mandale Metro 2B project, 6 per cent of the work is finished.
In the Wadala to Kasarvadavli--Metro 4 project, 11 per cent of the work is over, and in the Samarthnagar to Vikroli-- Metro 6 project, 10 percent of project work is complete.
Every day, around a dozen people fall off Mumbai's overcrowded locals. As per the data, Mumbai's local rail network is the busiest commuter train system in the world with 7.5 million people using the trains to commute daily. Therefore, metro was planned to provide relief to commuters by giving an alternative transport mode.
Daily ridership in Metro once ready
The daily ridership across 14 metro corridors (225 stations) will touch 1.3 crore per day by 2026 when all the routes are commissioned.
How Metro will be beneficial
MMR and Mumbai roads are 95 and 137 per cent congested presently. Once metro services start running, the congestion will reduce drastically to 9 and 33 per cent. Average travel speed on the road will increase to 37kmph from 20kmph and 30kmph from 17kmph in both the regions.