By Pamela Raghunath, Correspondent www.gulfnews.com
Mumbai: Mumbai’s first metro rail may see the light of day by year-end as work on the most crucial parts of the project — two bridges across Western Railway tracks and the Western Express Highway (WEH) in suburban Andheri — progresses at a hectic pace.
With Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar already announcing on budget day that the metro would be completed by November 2011, the Mumbai Metro One, a part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group which is implementing the project, is making all efforts to finish it on time, said a source at the company.
In fact, 75 per cent of civil works have already been completed.
The bridges will extend from west to east in suburban Andheri, one of the most congested areas in Mumbai. The 12km elevated Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar rail line with 12 stations will carry about 600,000 commuters providing them with the much needed east-to-west connectivity on a journey that is not only comfortable but traffic free. It will also cut a 90-minute trip down to 20 minutes.
The bridge across the WEH will be Mumbai’s second cable-stayed bridge and is expected to be an engineering marvel, a company spokesperson said.
Both the pylons for the WEH bridge, at a height of 40 metres over the Jog flyover, have been completed and work on the deck slab is currently underway.
With the approval from Western Railway for the bridge across the tracks, work has commenced on this critical part of the 180-metre-long steel bridge.
Officials at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority have informed the company that piling works and caps at Andheri must be completed before the monsoon.
Eighteen rakes will arrive by the end of this year, though one has already arrived. The air-conditioned coaches will be safe, visually appealing and have the best facilities and world class technology, offering Mumbaikars a new experience in train travel.