Seven years after the foundation stones were laid and fives years after the work begun, the Mumbai Metro finally chugged for the first time, although only for 3 km trial run. On Wednesday, on occasion of the Maharashtra Day, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan flagged off the first trial run of Mumbai’s Metro from Versova near Andheri.
With the successful trial run on the 3 km stretch between Versova to Azad Nagar station, Mumbai Metro would now seek safety certifications from various agencies. The first phase of the Mumbai Metro on the 11 km Andheri-Ghatkopar route was to commence operations in March 2013, however the Mumbai Metro has already missed seven deadlines that it had set and now CM Chavan has extended the new deadlined to October 2013.
Even by October 2013, Mumbai Metro would not be fully operational as the authorities would be only starting the route from Versova to Airport while the entire route is expected to be commissioned by December 2013.
According to RTI activist Anil Galgali, Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) a consortium led by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure has missed various deadlines - July 2010, Sep 2010 , July 2011, March 2012, Nov 2012 and May 2013. Overshooting deadlines is concern for CM Chavan as he is the minister of Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority the planing authority which holds 26 per cent stake in the MMOPL consortium.