Mumbai: Even before the entire Mumbai Metro 3 is commissioned in June 2024, the underground Line 3 is likely to be operated beyond the planned first phase up to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).
On Tuesday, during a dialogue with The Free Press Journal team at Free Press House, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation’s Managing Director Ashwini Bhide shared that as the construction of the Cuffe Parade-Bandra-SEEPZ line is through, the operations of the route may also keep getting extended.
Entire route to be completed in June
The first phase is scheduled to be completed in December 2023 and open in January 2024, while the entire route is headed for completion in June 2024.
At the moment, starting from the northern side of the 33.5km alignment, package 7 is almost ready; likewise, packages 6, 5 and 4 will also be ready soon. Even package 1, which is the southernmost end of the route, is also almost ready. However, package 2 that involves Girgaon-Kalbadevi is taking time.
“For that to get completed, we should not deprive people from using the other part of the route. We will keep on extending the operations. What is important is having the facility to reverse the trains,” said Bhide in an exclusive tete-a-tete.
Along the Aqua line, the reversal facilities are located at BKC, Sahar Road, Acharya Atre Chowk at Worli, CSMT and Cuffe Parade. “…We will not wait till June 2024. As package 4 is almost ready, and if we can move up to Acharya Atre Chowk at Worli, we can take the train up to Worli,” Bhide said.
Plan to open the route till Cuffe Parade
Once the station structures of Girgaon and Kalbadevi stations are ready, there’s also a plan to open the route till the Cuffe Parade terminal station by not halting the metro at these two stations until entirely ready.
The operation and maintenance of the corridor will be done by a third party. Of the nine companies that participated to bag the contract, two have been shortlisted – Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Keolis SA. The latter already services Hyderabad Metro Rail.
Parallel to construction activities, a detailed project report (DPR) is also being put together to extend the line up to Navy Nagar. The extension will be about 1.5km in length apart from an additional kilometre for train standby and crossover points.
Construction DPR should be ready in two months and thereafter the execution work will commence, including inviting contractors to build the extension.