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The first official safety trial run of the Mumbai Metro in Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo: Sameer Joshi/Mint (Sameer Joshi/Mint)
The first official safety trial run of the Mumbai Metro in Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo: Sameer Joshi/Mint
(Sameer Joshi/Mint)

Mumbai Metro holds trial run

The 12km line will link the eastern and the western suburbs; passenger traffic operations are likely to start by Sept

Mumbai: India’s commercial capital Mumbai moved a step closer to getting a modern metro on Wednesday with a trial run on a 2km stretch, ahead of the Versova-Ghatkopar line opening at the end of the year.

When it opens, the 12km line linking the eastern and the western suburbs of Mumbai will offer the more than 20 million residents of the city a public transport alternative to packed commuter trains that boast little by way of passenger comfort and only run in a north-south direction along the length of the island and its suburbs.

The trial took place on the first phase of the metro between Versova and Azad Nagar in Andheri and was flagged off by Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.

The corridor is being developed by Mumbai Metro One Pvt. Ltd, a consortium led by Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, which holds a 69% stake. The other stakeholders in the 23,500 crore project are Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (26%) and Veolia Transport, France (5%). The line will have 12 stations.

“This is one of the biggest infrastructure challenges. It is easy to build rail and metro in an open area, but in a congested area like Mumbai city, it was a huge challenge," Chavan said.

He said trials will continue over the next few months before the metro gets safety permits. The first phase from Versova to Airport Road should open around September and the second phase from Airport Road to Ghatkopar by the end of the year, he said.

Chavan said the tendering process for the 22km, 9,630-crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link is nearing completion and construction is expected to begin this year. The road will connect Mumbai with Navi Mumbai.

He added that the state has decided to support the elevated railway corridor from Oval Maidan to Virar, a 23,000-crore project to connect the southern tip of the island to one of its northern-most suburbs.

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