With the delay in construction of the ongoing Metro Line 4 work in the last four years, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has decided to change some of the previous sub-contractors to expedite the construction work.
The authority has claimed that the work on both Metro Line 4 that will connect Wadala in Central Mumbai to Gaimukh in Thane and Line 5 that connects Thane, Bhiwandi and Kalyan, is expected to be completed only by 2025.
The two lines together will have an estimated ridership of over 15 lakh commuters by 2031. The work on the first phase of Line 5 is currently in progress.
SVR Srinivas, commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We are in the process of changing the sub-contractors for Metro Line 4 as, in the last four years, the work has slowed down considerably. Hence, we have now prepared a catch-up plan based on which some of the work will be executed parallelly by various authorities.”
The Metro Line 4 work began in October 2018 while the work on Line 5 began in December 2017.
Both these routes saw many hurdles. Metro Line 4 is currently way beyond its original scheduled date. One reason for the delay was the finalisation of the Mogharpada plot for the Metro car shed. The Mogharpada plot is government land and also has no CRZ limitations. Mogharpada has a population of 4,000 people and 1,200 families. Around 200 farmers claim that though the land is government’s, it was leased to them by the government in 1960 for cultivation. They placed certain demands before the authorities to acquire the plot.
“Some of the farmers’ issues need to be resolved. We will either have to provide them with alternate land or give compensation. The policy decision can be taken only after discussions in the assembly. We are awaiting a meeting to be conducted at Mantralaya to finalise the same. After that, we will be in a position to hand over the land to MMRDA,” said Rajesh Narvekar, District Collector, Thane.
Meanwhile, the MMRDA had cancelled the construction tender for the car depot on this land. Now, new tenders will be floated by the MMRDA.
Srinivas added, “By the time the Thane District Collector completes the small changes in the land acquisition process, we shall start floating the bids for a new contractor for the car shed work too so that the work is not delayed further.”
Metro Lines 4 and 5 will intersect in Kapurbawdi. There will be a station here that will connect both lines. As per an official from MMRDA, “Metro Line 4 is running behind schedule while the first phase of Metro Line 5 is on schedule. Most of the pillar work for Metro Line 4 has been completed and the work for the stations is in process. We have also put up girders at various spots. However, the work on this route (Metro Line 4) is way behind schedule.”
Srinivas added, “Around 30% work of phase 1 of Metro Line 5 has been completed.”
Metro Line 5 is divided into two phases – Phase 1 includes Thane to Bhiwandi route and Phase 2 includes Bhiwandi to Kalyan route. The second phase has many establishments that will be impacted. Hence, an alternate 3km underground route has been planned that will save 735 of the 1,597 structures initially to be affected. The rehabilitation and demolition of establishments in Phase 2 are yet to begin.
Satyajit Shah, civic activist, Thane, said, “These two Metro lines are crucial to lessen the burden on trains as most of the residents from Thane, Bhiwandi and Kalyan travel towards Mumbai for work. Moreover, with construction work going on in most parts of the city, there are a lot of traffic problems faced by regular commuters. If the work is further delayed, it will create problems during the monsoon as well.”
KNOW ALL ABOUT METRO LINES 4 & 5
METRO LINE 4:
Metro Line 4 from Wadala to Kasarvadavali is a 32.32km-long fully elevated corridor with 32 stations.
It shall provide interconnectivity among the existing Eastern Express Highway, Central Railway, Monorail, the ongoing Metro Line 2B (DN Nagar to Mandale) and the proposed Metro Line 5 (Thane to Kalyan), Metro Line 6 (Swami Samarth Nagar to Vikhroli) and Metro Line 8 (Wadala to General Post Office).
It shall reduce the current travel time by between 50% and 75% depending on road conditions.
METRO LINE 5:
Metro Line 5 from Thane to Bhiwandi to Kalyan is 24.90 km. long elevated and partly underground corridor with 15 stations.
It will provide interconnectivity among the ongoing Metro Line 4 (Wadala to Kasarvadavli) and the proposed Metro Line 12 (Kalyan to Taloja), and with the existing Central Railway.
Currently work for Phase 1 from Thane to Bhiwandi is in progress.
Salient features of Metro Lines 4 and 5
Project cost: ₹14,549 Cr
Ridership in 2031: 12.13 lakh
Project cost: ₹8,416.51 Cr
Ridership in 2031: 3.025 lakh