INDIAN prime minister, Mr Narendra Modi, inaugurated two new sections of metro in Mumbai on January 19. Commercial operation subsequently commenced on the 9.5km extension to Line 2A (Yellow) and a 6.2km addition to Line 7 (Red) on January 20.
The Line 2A extension runs from Andheri West to Dahanukarwadi with seven stations and connects with the 9.5km Dhanukarwadi - Dahisar East phase of the line, which opened in April 2022. The Line 7 extension has four stations and runs from Aarey to Gundavali, connecting with the 9.75km Dahisar East - Aarey section, which also opened in April last year.
Mumbai Metro is now offering a through service across both lines, which together run for 35.1km south-north-south from the southern terminus of Line 2A at Andheri West via Dahisar East, the northern terminus of both lines 2A and 7, to Gundavali, the southern terminus of Line 7.
Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) is overseeing construction of the city’s metro network, which will eventually comprise 14 lines totalling more than 300km, expects several other metro lines to be completed in the next two years.
The first phase of Line 2B, the D N Nagar - National College section of the 23.64km line, which is a southern extension of the D N Nagar - Mandale Line 2A, is targeted for completion in 2024. The second VNP - Mandale phase is expected to follow in June 2025.
Excavation of the 54.5km of tunnels required for the 33.5km Line 3 (Aqua), the city’s first underground metro line but also with some sections at-grade, was completed on November 30 2022. The line will connect Cuffe Parade in the south of Mumbai with Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSIA), SEEPZ and Aarey Milk Colony with 27 stations.
The project is costing $US 3.8bn and completion of the first phase from BKC to Aarey is envisaged this year, while the second phase will be completed in 2024. Alstom is supplying 31 eight-car trains under a €415m contract, the second of which arrived at the end of December 2022 and is being tested on a 3km section between Marol and Aarey. A tender to operate the line is also expected in due course.
Completion of the 15.18km elevated Line 6 (Pink), which will connect Swami Samarth Nagar to Vikhroli with 13 stations, has been fixed for the end of 2024 with construction now more than 60% complete.
This line will connect with the 32.3km, elevated Line 4 (Green), which will run from Wadala to Kasarvadavali, where more than 40% of civil works are complete. Over 45% of civil works have been completed on the 2.88km Line 4A from Kasarvadavali to Gaimukh with two stations.
Work is also more than 65% complete on the elevated Line 5 (Orange), which was originally planned to run for 24.95km from Thane to Bhiwandi and Kalyan, with 17 stations. Latest reports suggest that while 12.8km of the line is under construction, the rest of the project is currently on hold.
More than 25% of civil works have been completed on the entirely elevated Line 9 (Red), which will connect Dahisar East to Mira Bhayander, and the underground and elevated Line 7A (also Red), which will extend the existing line from Andheri East to CSIA.
A joint venture of Systra and DB Engineering & Consulting was awarded the general consultant contract for the 9.2km, four-station elevated Line 10 (Green) from Gaimukj to Shivaji Chowk and the 20.7km, 17-station elevated Kalyan - Taloja Line 12 (Orange) projects at the end of December. The contract award is expected to accelerate development of these schemes.
MMRDA is also planning to construct a 35km underground and elevated Line 8 (Gold) to connect CSIA with the new Navi Mumbai International Airport that is currently under construction. This seven-station line is currently classed as proposed.
Also proposed is the 12.77km, 10-station, elevated and underground Line 11 (Green), which would run from Wadala to CSIA as an extension of Line 4.
In addition, there are early-stage proposals for a 23km, 20-station Line 13 (Purple) from Shivaji Chowk (Mirar Road) to Virar, and a 45km, 40-station Line 14 (Magenta) from Vikhroli EEH to Badlapur.
Less advanced are proposals to have metro tracks on the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), an under-construction 21.8km, six-lane expressway road bridge which will connect Mumbai with the satellite city Navi Mumbai. When completed MTHL will be the longest sea bridge in India.
Initially MTHL was proposed to have a double-track metro line below the road lanes on the bridge, and the line was to be extended to Navi Mumbai International Airport. However, in 2012 MMRDA scrapped plans for the metro line and decided to build a purely road bridge.
But in June 2021, MMRDA stated it was re-examining the possibility of building metro lines on the MTHL, as well as dedicating two lanes for a bus rapid transit system. In January 2022 MMRDA appointed a consultant - whose draft report submitted in April 2022 found that the bridge’s existing pillars would be unable to support the load of a metro line. Nevertheless, MMRDA’s metropolitan commissioner, Mr S V R Srinivas, said solutions were being explored, such as increasing the load-bearing capacity of the pillars, before a final decision is reached.
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