Due to tendering delays, metro operations in Navi Mumbai are expected to only begin in 2017. The 23.40 km long Line 1 is slated to run from Belapur CBD to Khandeshwar and has already missed its original deadline of 2014.
While the contracts to build the viaducts was handed to J Kumar Infraprojects and Nagarjuna in 2011, the contracts to build the stations and the electronic system components (traction, rolling stock, signaling & telecommunications and automated fare collection) had to be reworked to match the specifications of its neighboring Mumbai Metro which resulted in delaying the entire project. After the redesign, the contracts were awarded a little later in 2013 and 2014 respectively:
• Stations – awarded to San José Constructora in August 2013
• Technical Systems – awarded to a consortium of Ansaldo STS, Tata Projects and CSR Zhuzhou in July 2014
To match the Mumbai Metro’s specifications, CIDCO had asked the Technical Systems contractor to increase the width of the trains from 2.9 m to 3.2 m as they’d like to keep open the idea of future integration. While I believe the integration between the lines will never take place, I do like the idea of 3.2 meter wide trains that straight away allow for an increased capacity.
This, by the way, is CSR’s third project in India after Mumbai and Gurgaon. In a press release, they stated that “Metro vehicles of this project adopt the program of 3 carriages, including 2 powered carriage and 1 unpowered carriage with 25 KV pantograph-OCS system supplying power. The max passenger capacity of the whole metro can reach 1,128 and the max operation speed 80 km/h.”
On the civil construction side of things, a CIDCO official recently revealed that “73 percent of the civil work of the viaduct is completed, while nearly 55-60 per cent work on the 11 stations, proposed on the corridor, is still pending. Besides, 15-20 percent of the civil work of the metro depot at Taloja is also completed.”
While it’s unfortunate that the tendering delay has affected the commencement of operations, it’s good to know that all contracts have been awarded, all clearances have been received (including the Indian Railways) and work continues to progress on all sections of the project.