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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday flagged off the trial run of the Mumbai Metro 2A and Metro 7 corridors, which run along the Link Road and Western Express Highway in the Western suburbs of Mumbai.

The trial run of the Metro line between Dahanukarwadi and Aarey stations was carried out in presence of CM Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat.

However, CM Thackeray has expressed concern over the heavy vehicular traffic in Mumbai and warned that the lockdown-like curbs will be made stricter if such a situation continues.

He said, "I was shocked to see heavy vehicular traffic in Mumbai today. I was wondering if I said anything about restrictions being lifted last night but I did not. If this (traffic) continues, stricter curbs will have to be imposed."

Mumbai will have to be put under stricter curbs if such a situation continues, the CM said while speaking in suburban Bandra at the inauguration of the trial run of two Metro lines and bhoomipujan of the elevated road and vehicular underpass to connect the airport.

When completed, these projects will put Mumbai on a faster pace amid the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, Thackeray said.

The leaders who were present at the event along with other ministers, recalled the contribution of former CM late Vilasrao Deshmukh, saying he laid the foundation of infrastructure up-gradation in Mumbai.

"This corridor to open for commercial run by October, is expected to reduce traffic on Western Express Highway by 25%," said MMRDA Commissioner RA Rajeev. The corridor will be open for commercial run by October.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) began testing on the yellow line 2A and red line 7 from Monday wherein oscillation trials of a prototype 6-car train will be run at various speeds, an official release said.

The commissioning of both the lines is planned in two phases, the first phase of 20 km from Charkop depot/ Dahanukarwadi to Aarey by September 2021, and the remaining line by January 2022.

The sub-systems and equipment will be tested under dynamic conditions, the release said, adding that integration with signalling, telecom and platform screen doors will be tested along with other different safety tests.

The Mumbai Metro lines 2A and 7 were sanctioned by the government on October 6, 2015 and the bhoomipujan was performed byPrime Minister Narendra Modi on October 11, 2015.

Project will help ease traffic congestion

The project will help ease the traffic congestion on one of the busiest routes passing through the Western Express Highway from Andheri to Dahisar.

Thackeray also electronically inaugurated one arm of the Rajnoli flyover and Durgadi flyover on the Bhiwandi-Kalyan road.

This will help strengthen road connectivity in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

The far-flung upcoming areas in the MMR are the growth centres and the project is part of MMRDA's efforts to augment shortcomings in the connectivity, the release said.

Thackeray also performed bhoomipujan oftheelevated road and vehicular underpass to connect Terminal 1 (T1) and Terminal 2 (T2) of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.

These two projects are meant to improve traffic conditions at the entry/exit points from the Western Express Highway towards the Mumbai airport.

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