Mumbai monorail’s first phase will be operational in January next while the first phase of the metro could be commissioned in March 2013, said Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. After a marathon tour of the metro and mono project sites and a visit to construction site of the Eastern Freeway, the CM announced that most mass transport projects in the city are well on track and declared the probable deadlines for these two important projects. "The first phase of monorail, which is 9 kilometers mono-line between Chembur and Wadala, will be operational in January 2013 while the work on the second phase will continue till the middle of 2013. The eastern suburbs will have a much better connectivity as Monorail and the Eastern Freeway connecting south Mumbai to the eastern suburbs will both be operational in January 2013,” said a statement issued by the chief minister’s office. The metro rail project, which is way behind the schedule, will finally get ready in 2013. After a review of sites and discussions with senior officials of the MMRDA, CM Chavan said, “The first phase of the metro will roll out on March 2013. However, the second phase (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor) is likely to face some problems because space for car depot has not been allowed by the environment ministry, because there are mangroves in that zone.”
“Big infrastructure projects do face some awkward situations. Resettlement and rehabilitation of the project-affected families is another challenge and I must compliment MMRDA for the exemplary work on that front. We are working very hard to complete all civil work by this year end, conduct the required tests and begin commercial operations,” he added.
The chief minister’s visit to Mumbai infrastructure projects was organised in a mini-bus instead of the usual motorcade, and the BMC chief, MMRDA commissioner, police commissioner and other officers travelled with him in the bus.