Mumbai: The two metro lines — 2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar) and 7 (Dahisar E-Andheri E) — will be operational in 2021, confirmed RA Rajeev, Metropolitan Commissioner of MMRDA. These projects, which were delayed due COVID-19 and its subsequent lockdown, were supposed to be completed by December 2020.
Speaking to The Free Press Journal, Rajeev said, “Unfortunately, the projects, which were supposed to conclude in December 2020, have been delayed due to COVID-19. Two metro lines — line 7 and 2A — were supposed to be completed by December 2020. But expect the work of these lines to be complete this year.”
He also added that COVID-19 did have a short-term impact on various projects. “Certainly, in the short-term, there have been impacts like in the implementation of the project; increased cost of construction; manpower and machines were ideal for sometime and so on.” Manpower for MMRDA projects are not just Indian but from 12 different nationalities that came down especially for metro projects. So, MMRDA had to manage them. “That pushed up costs further.”
Due to the pandemic, MMRDA was able to look and plan non-motorised transport for first and last-mile connectivity differently. Citing the example of Yulu E-Bikes at Bandra Kurla Complex, Rajeev is optimistic that there will be takers for non-motorised transport.
Other than last mile connectivity, MMRDA has also introduced a ticketing structure which will enable seamless movement of passengers. This was keeping in mind the pandemic. Rajeev said, “The ticketing system can be patented in the market. This is because the design of the system was developed and implemented (by me) during the COVID-19 times. This is mainly because this will integrate the various modes of travel experience through one travel system.”