Mumbai (Metro Rail News): Trial runs for two Metro lines – Metro 2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar) and Metro 7 (Dahisar East-Andheri East) – will commence from January 14, 2021, said commissioner of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) RA Rajeev on Thursday. Commercial operations for the two lines are expected to start from May 2021.
“We will receive the first set of trains in December 2020. Post which, system integration will take about five months. We can assure citizens that the operations will start from May 2021,” he said. MMRDA will commence operations with 10 train sets, with a headway of 20-25 minutes between trains initially according to sources.
The Metro was expected to be operational by December this year, but the Covid-19 lockdown resulted in delays. Rajeev said MMRDA was making up for lost time by readying teams for each site and “maximising” labour force for Metro 2A and Metro 7.
According to MMRDA, 7,109 labourers were working at the Metro sites on March 16, before the lockdown was announced. Now, 6,332 labourers are at the Metro sites. “We have almost reached the pre-lockdown count. We are also arranging special trains for labourers to reach Mumbai,” he said.
While the authority was looking to employ locals at its sites, only 150-200 labourers at the two Metro sites are from Maharashtra. Officials said labourers from Maharashtra are trained for industrial jobs and not for working at construction sites.
A right-to-information (RTI) query dated September 8 by environment activist Zoru Bhathena revealed that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which is executing Metro 6 (Swami Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli) on behalf of MMRDA, has not been allotted land for the Metro 6 depot yet. “Exact location of depot is not yet finalised. The plan shall be prepared only after the finalization of the land,” the reply stated.
Direct connectivity for Metro 7 stations
MMRDA has approved two proposals for direct connectivity with Metro 7 stations. Sonia Sethi, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said two foot overbridges – one from Aarey station to Oberoi Realty; and another from Poisar station to Shapoorji Pallonji – have been approved.