Four days after completing inspection, the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) on Friday issued a conditional safety certificate to the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor, noting that the project was yet to secure a few minor clearances related to rolling stock and electrical installations.
Once Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), the special purpose vehicle in charge of the project, gets the required clearances from the Railway Board, it will have to present the CRS’ safety certification to the Ministry of Railways before the Metro can be commissioned for public use, officials said.
P S Baghel, CRS for the western circle, who had inspected the 11.4-km corridor, said, “I have given a clearance with a few conditions. There are certain approvals that the project needs to get related to rolling stock and electrical installations from the railway board. Ideally, I should have given a clearance after these approvals were in, but I decided to give a conditional clearance as the proposals had already been sent. Securing the approvals is a mere formality.”
The MMOPL, a consortium of Reliance Infrastructure, Veolia Transport and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), constructed the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro on a public private partnership model.
An MMOPL spokesperson said, “Now, we are only awaiting the approval of rolling stock from the railway board, for which the papers were submitted on April 22. We shall open the line for commercial use within a week of the approval.”
However, even as the Metro corridor is now closer to being commissioned, the initial tariff is yet to be decided with the state government and MMOPL in conflict over the issue. While the state has already notified the fare structure from Rs 9-13 and is insistent on starting the line with the same tariff, the MMOPL has been demanding an increase to Rs 22-33. With the project recently being registered under the Metro Act, and MMOPL being appointed as the Metro Rail Administrator, the special purpose vehicle now has the authority to decide the initial fare.
The Metro was first inspected by the Research Design & Standards Organisation and was presented to the CRS for approval on April 4. Accordingly, P S Baghel began inspection on April 18.