Railway’s research arm RDSO is likely to issue ‘speed certificate’ to the much-awaited Mumbai Metro this week, sources said. This will now pave the way for the operator Reliance Infra obtaining safety certificate from the Railways, they said.
“The process of issuing speed certificate for the Mumbai Metro is almost over. The trial report is nearly ready and we may give the clearance to the operator of Mumbai Metro One as early as this week,” sources at the Research, Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) told PTI.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and the operator Reliance Infra have been saying that the metro services will be thrown open to the public this month-end. Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) is a joint venture between Reliance Infrastructure, French firm Veolia Transport and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
While Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infra, which is the execution agency, owns a 69 per cent stake in the project, the state-run MMRDA and Veolia hold 26 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. The RDSO is a statutory technical body, which certifies rail system for safety based on international standards.
After carrying out the oscillation and emergency braking distance trials under the monitoring of the RDSO, the MMRDA is now undertaking proper trial runs on the entire first phase of the 11.4-km long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar section of the Mumbai Metro for the last couple of days.
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Once the speed clearance is in place, MMOPL will have to apply to the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety for the safety certificate, they said, adding the final go ahead for the commencement of services will come from the Railway Board. The speed clearance is granted after testing the stability and load, vibration, comfort factor on the tracks, alignment between tracks and train wheels during the trial runs of the train.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone of the first phase of the Mumbai Metro in June 2006. According to the initial plans, the stretch was to start operations from 2009.
The joint venture’s failure to launch the services on time has reportedly resulted in the project cost shooting up by about 84 per cent to Rs 4,351 crore from the originally planned Rs 2,356 crore.
The consortium has been claiming that there is a cost escalation of Rs 1,935 crore over and above the original cost of Rs 2,356 crore.