Mumbai: While work on four crucial metro car depots in and around Mumbai is yet to take off, Mandale car depot is 70% ready. This will service the entire Metro 2 line that is to operate between Dahisar East, Andheri, Bandra and Mankhurd.
As per the update shared by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is executing the metro rail projects in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the civil work of the stabling yard under the first phase is 96% done and the second phase is 36% complete, including slab and beam casting.
1st phase of the car depot to have 18 lines to service a part of Metro 2B
In all, the first phase of the car depot will have a total of 18 lines to service a part of Metro 2B, which the development authority intends to open for operations by March 2024.
As per the plans, the section between Mandale depot and Diamond Garden in Chembur of Metro 2B will be opened up first to cater to passengers. Early next year, five stations in this section will be ready for commercial operations. Depending upon the progress, the remaining section between Chembur and Andheri West will become operational at a later date. Currently, though, close to one-fourth of the works is to be completed on the alignment between Mandale and Diamond Garden.
MMRDA unable to kickstart civil works at other metro rail car depots
Meanwhile, the MMRDA is unable to kickstart civil works at four of the metro rail car depots across the MMR, including Mumbai. These are Mogharpada (Metro 4), Kasheli (Metro 5), Kanjurmarg (Metro 6) and Uttan (Metro 9).
For Mogharpada car depot, the MMRDA awaits a government order to hand over the plot. Currently, the locals at Mogharpada village along the Ghodbunder Road in Thane are yet to receive compensation. It is only after this plot is acquired that the Metro 4 of Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavali as well as Metro 4A of Kasarvadavali-Gaimukh will be able to be operational.
There continues to be opposition faced by the MMRDA to acquire the car depot plot at Kasheli for Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan metro line. Earlier this month, the MMRDA had held a public consultation to understand the reasons behind people's ire. It came to light that the locals were being excluded from the compensation list and their livelihoods impacted.
All is not well between the government departments
On the other hand, while the MMRDA has conducted a survey of the 15 acres of the larger land parcel Kanjurmarg, all is not well between the government departments. The Salt Commissioner has raised objections to the state government handing over a part of the plot to the development authority. MMRDA officials insist that the land earmarked for Swami Samarth Nagar (Lokhandwala)-Kanjurmarg line is not part of the disputed zone.
The state government’s war room has, however, decided to succumb to the opposition of the Rai, Morva and Murdha villages off Bhayandar and extend the car depot by about 2km to a hillock at Uttan. The civil work on the same is far from beginning, as the MMRDA will first have to secure environment clearances.