The opening of the first phase of Mumbai Metro Line 3, connecting Aarey and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), has been pushed to April 2024.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), responsible for the implementation of Mumbai Metro Line 3, commonly known as Aqua Line, had initially planned to commence Phase 1 operations by December 2023. However, it pushed the deadline for the commissioning of the first phase as work on the car shed is not yet completed.
"Earlier, we had announced December 2023 as the opening date for Phase I, but work on the shunting neck, which will connect the depot to the main line, is still underway," said Ashwini Bhide, managing director, MMRC while speaking at a function in Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh. "We hope to open the Phase I line by March-April and the Phase II line — BKC-Cuffe Parade stretch by September-October."
As of 30 November 2023, the MMRC had completed 93.4 per cent of works on the Aarey-BKC route which includes 98.9 per cent of works completed on stations and tunnels and 96.6 per cent works on the overall construction of metro stations on this route.
It is expected that work on the shunting neck at the Aarey depot will likely be completed January-end. The 33-acre car shed at Aarey, would serve as the base for maintaining metro coaches for Mumbai Metro Line 3.
Once all the work is completed, full train trials will commence, followed by trials by RDSO — the research and development arm of Indian Railways. The next procedure will be to approach the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) to inspect the network. Commercial operations can commence after receiving a green signal from the CMRS.
First Underground Corridor
The 33.5-km long Metro-3 corridor running along Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ is the first underground metro corridor of Mumbai. It will connect Cuffe Parade business district in the extreme south of the city to SEEPZ in the north-central with 26 underground and one at-grade station.
MMRC has already acquired all nine trainsets required for Phase 1 operation. The authority has awarded a contract valued at approximately 315 million euros to the French manufacturer Alstom for the supply of 31 metro trainsets of eight cars each.
Further, the MMRC authorities have already successfully completed the first long-distance trial from MIDC to Vidyanagari Metro Station and back to SEEPZ, covering a total distance of around 17 km. This initial trial was conducted at a speed of approximately 30 km per hour, and it has been reported that in the upcoming months, they plan to carry out trial runs at speeds of 80 kmph.
The second phase between BKC and Colaba that was set to begin after six months of Phase 1 operations, likely by May 2024, in all likelihood, will now be ready by October 2024.
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