More than six years after construction began and after several missed deadlines, Mumbai’s first Metro corridor started its commercial operations as Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan flagged off Mumbai Metro from Versova on Sunday.
The service was launched by Chavan along with ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani at 10.10 AM.
The launch of metro services will revolutionise the commutation of Mumbaikars, Chavan said after the launch.
With this service, the journey on the 11.4 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar stretch will reduce to 20 minutes which otherwise takes around 90 minutes at present by road transport.
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The metro train services on the 11.4 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar stretch, phase 1 of the project, will be available every four minutes.
MMOPL will operate 200-250 services a day, carrying around 11 lakh passengers. Every coach can carry 375 passengers, while the entire train can transport 1,500 commuters.
Over 70 lakh commuters use the suburban railway every day.
The MMOPL, a consortium of Reliance Infrastructure, Veolia Transport and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), has constructed the 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro on a public private partnership model.
The construction of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro had started in February 2008 with an original cost estimate of Rs 2,356 crore. The line was originally as per the contract expected to be completed in 2012. Issues such as securing complete right of way, getting clearances from various agencies and several design changes due to underground utilities delayed the project. The 11.4-km Metro line had more than a month ago received a conditional safety clearance from PS Baghel, commissioner of railway safety for the western circle.
The project received the final safety clearance from the Railway Board on Thursday and since then the state government has been under pressure to start operations at the earliest.
The Metro will operate from 5.30 am till midnight. Trains will run at a frequency of one every four minutes during the rush hour and eight minutes otherwise. Of the 16 four-coach rakes procured, 14 will be used to run the line. One will be kept as an operations reserve and one for maintenance reserves. During off peak hours, about 7-8 trains will be deployed.
Trains will have four coaches each. The seating capacity of every coach will alternate between 48 and 52. Of these about 12 seats will be reserved for ladies, senior citizens and handicapped commuters. The overall capacity of one coach will be 375
With nearly a hundred square metre of every Metro station being set aside for retail outlets, commuters using the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro will be able to shop as well as avail banking facilities on the move.
All twelve stations of the 11.4-km Metro corridor will be equipped with food and beverage shops, convenience stores, mobile and accessories stores and ATM machines.
Retail and banking services will be available on all 12 stations, except for a mobile accessories store that will be set up only on eight stations excluding Azad Nagar, Chakala, Western Express Highway and Jagruti Nagar.
(With PTI inputs)