Mumbai, the bustling financial capital of India, has been grappling with the issue of overcrowding on its roads and local trains for years. To reduce this problem, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is constructing a new metro line, the Swami Samarth Nagar -Vikhroli Metro Line 6, which will connect the western suburb of Lokhandwala to the eastern suburb of Vikhroli.
The project, announced in 2016, is expected to reduce travel time and make commuting easier for lakhs of Mumbaikars.
As per the statement by MMRDA, Metro Line 6 has completed overall progress of 66%. However, despite being 66% complete, the project is still facing a significant hurdle: the depot for the metro line is yet to be constructed.
Civil Work Progress for 13 Stations:
The Swami Samarth Nagar – Vikhroli Metro Line will be an elevated corridor spanning 14.47 kilometres with 17 stations. The project will be executed in four packages, and civil work on 13 stations is currently underway.
According to MMRDA officials, as of December 2021, civil work on the 13 stations was 51.50% complete.
Work on the remaining four stations is expected to start soon. The stations are being built using pre-cast technology, which is known for being faster and more cost-effective. The pre-cast elements are manufactured off-site and then transported to the construction site, where they are assembled. This approach has helped speed up the construction process and reduce costs.
Metro Line 6 Integration with 4 Metro Lines
One of the unique features of the Swami Samarth Nagar (Lokhandwala)-Vikhroli Metro Line is that it will integrate with four other metro routes. This will make it easier for commuters to transfer from one line to another, thereby reducing travel time and improving connectivity.
The four routes that will be integrated are:
- Metro Line 2A (Dahisar to Andheri West)
- Metro Line 7 (Dahisar to Gundavali)
- Metro Line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ),
- Metro Line 4 (Wadala- Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavli-Gaimukh)
The integration of these lines will enable commuters to travel seamlessly across the city and access various business and residential areas quickly.
Metro Line 6 Depot Still Missing
Despite the significant progress made on the construction of the Metro Line 6 (Swami Samarth Nagar -Vikhroli ), the project is still facing a major hurdle, which is the construction of the depot, which has been delayed due to a legal battle over the ownership of the land.
The State Forest Department has claimed that the land belongs to them and that it cannot be used for commercial purposes. The matter is currently being heard in the Bombay High Court, and the MMRDA is hoping for a positive outcome.
The delay in the construction of the depot is not only a logistical issue but also a financial one. The MMRDA has also approached the Union Environment Ministry seeking clearance to build the depot on the disputed plot of land, and if this request is denied, the project may face further delays.
Impact on Commuters and the City
The Metro line 6 is expected to have a significant impact on commuters and the city as a whole. Once operational, the metro line will provide a much-needed respite from the traffic congestion and overcrowding on local trains. It will also reduce travel time and make commuting easier for thousands of people who travel from the western suburbs to the eastern suburbs and vice versa.
The integration of the Metro Line 6 with other metro routes will further improve connectivity in the city, making it easier for commuters to access different parts of the city. The project is also expected to boost real estate development in areas surrounding the metro stations, leading to an increase in property prices and economic growth.
However, the delay in the construction of the depot is casting a shadow over the project’s potential benefits. The longer the delay, the more it will cost, and the more the commuters and the city will suffer.
The Metro Line 6 (Swami Samarth Nagar -Vikhroli) is an ambitious project that has the potential to transform commuting in Mumbai. The integration of the line with other metro routes and the use of pre-cast technology for construction are noteworthy achievements. However, the delay in the construction of the depot is a significant hurdle that must be overcome for the project to be successful.
The MMRDA must explore all possible alternatives and work towards finding a suitable location for the depot. They must also work towards resolving the legal dispute over the land as soon as possible. The longer the delay, the more it will cost, and the benefits of the project will not be realized.
The people of Mumbai have waited too long for a solution to their commuting woes, and the Swami Samarth Nagar (Lokhandwala) -Vikhroli Metro Line is an essential step towards easing their burden. It is imperative that the MMRDA ensures that this project becomes a reality as soon as possible.