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2-km stretch gets in way of Metro-I,deadline may be overshot

Mumbai’s first Metro project — a 11.2-km corridor from Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri — scheduled to be completed by July 2010 may overshoot the deadline because of a 2-km stretch,according to officials.

Written by Swapnil Rawal | Mumbai |
September 9, 2009 5:01:46 am

Mumbai’s first Metro project — a 11.2-km corridor from Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri — scheduled to be completed by July 2010 may overshoot the deadline because of a 2-km stretch,according to officials.

The 2-km stretch on the route has still not been handed over by the nodal agency to the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL),the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed by Reliance Infrastructure Ltd,Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Veolia Transport for the project.

According to MMOPL,the Right Of Way (ROW) is now “desperately” needed  for construction on the 2-km stretch. “The ROW from Navrang Cinema to Andheri SV Road and Saki Naka to Asalpha to LBS Marg,which is a 2-km stretch,is still not given to us for construction,” said a senior MMOPL official.

The MMRDA is still to resettle project affected persons (PAPs) including shopkeepers and residents on J P Road,Andheri and hand over the stretch near Andheri station on both east and west sides. Also the stretch from Saki Naka to LBS Marg is undergoing road-widening work and would not be handed over until it’s finished.

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The MMOPL began construction of the corridor in February 2008 but has been awaiting the handover of some portion of the alignment. “We desperately need the remaining ROW and we’ve conveyed this to MMRDA time and again. So far we’ve not received any time frame within which they would hand it over,” the official added. He added that with every passing day,without the entire ROW,the schedule is being thrown out of track and that could lead to a delay in finishing the corridor by July 2010. “It is certainly getting difficult by the day to keep up with the deadline. We’re trying our best to finish it on time,but we need the remaining ROW at the earliest,” the official said. 

Meanwhile,the MMRDA maintains that the project will be completed on schedule and the remaining ROW handed over in two months. “Of the 11.2-km stretch,over 9 kilometres have been handed over to MMOPL. The remaining ROW,in pockets,will be handed over step by step in a month or two,” said Ashwini Bhide,Joint Metropolitan Commissioner,MMRDA.

According to Bhide,giving out entire ROW is not practical as barricading the entire alignment with narrow roads will not be allowed by traffic police. She added,“We’re not deliberately holding up the entire ROW; at some places MMRDA’s road widening work is going on. In some stretches PAPs have gone to appeal or traffic police have not given permission. These issues are being resolved and gradually the ROW will be handed over step by step.”

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First published on: 09-09-2009 at 05:01:46 am

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