MMRDA chief SVR Srinivas: “Mumbaikars can sit up for good, snug and protected journeys with the metro.”

SVR Srinivas
MMDRA chief SVR Srinivas speaks to Citizen Issues in regards to the new metro strains and what residents can count on from these developments. Pic credit score: SVR Srinivas

April 2nd was an enormous day for Mumbai. After 8 lengthy years, the blue line of Mumbai’s metro was getting 2 new additions: the yellow Line 2A and pink Line 7.

On the shared Dahisar metro station, Line 2A left to Dahanukarwadi, Kandivali. Parallely, the metro on Line 7 left for Aarey in Goregaon, overlaying the extent of Part 1. With the upcoming Part 2, the 18.5 km and 16.5 km lengthy strains will journey 30 stations bewteen them, connecting DN Nagar, Andheri West and Andheri East on the older Line 1.

The strains are a transparent rival for the closely congested Western Categorical Freeway, operating alongside it within the east and west-side of the suburbs. “This patch on the freeway takes 30-45 minutes in automotive, however now it should take barely 10,” says Pearl, a Dahisar resident who plans to make use of the metro usually when she begins a brand new job in June.

Line 2A expects to have a ridership of 6.09 lakh day by day by 2031, together with being moreover prolonged by Line 2B to Mandale, 24 km within the east of town. Line 7 expects to hold 6.68 lakh folks daily and also will be part of an intensive pink line, connecting Mira Bhayandar to the CSIA Terminal 2.

For now, Mumbai’s metro has been bumped to 30 km lengthy, up from 8 years of overlaying solely 11 km. That is anticipated to alter dramatically within the present decade. If the Mumbai Metropolitan Area Improvement Authority (MMRDA) plans come to fruition, Mumbai’s metro will likely be 337 km lengthy by 2030.

To know the challenge and its implications, Citizen Issues spoke to SVR Srinivas, the metropolitan commissioner of the MMRDA and managing director of the Mumbai Metro Rail Company (MMRC).

What stays to be accomplished of Line 2A and seven?

Part 1, which covers 20 km and 18 stations, is absolutely operational. We’re attempting to open Part 2 within the subsequent 5-6 months.

Several types of work stay, involving the stations, tracks, electrification, signalling, telecommunications, some civil work, software program points and integration. It’s a really advanced challenge. That is the primary time the MMRDA has accomplished and commissioned a challenge of this measurement, and it’ll decongest the Western suburbs massive time.

Map of the two new lines of Mumbai metro Line 2A and 7
The map of the yellow Line 2A and &, pink Line 7 linked from Dahisar to DN Nagar and Andheri on Line 1. Pic credit score: Sabah Virani

The MMRDA web site lists the anticipated ridership of the strains in 2031 collectively at 12 lakh per day. Who’s the goal demographic – automotive, bus or prepare customers?

We predict to shift folks from automobiles, auto rickshaws, middleman public transport and to some extent, metropolis buses. The buses will now not run parallel to the metro, however as a feeder to the metro.

We additionally count on some shifts from suburban railways commuters, particularly on Line 2A. However for that, completion of Part 2 is essential. It would join the brand new strains to the Metro Line 1 at Andheri and DN Nagar, so integration will likely be higher than what we’re seeing now.

There’s additionally been a push in direction of integrating non-motorised transport (NMT) within the community, particularly with the rent-a-bike stations on the stations. Do you count on them to play a big position?

We’re encouraging cycle stands in any respect the stations, and we’ve additionally made provisions for carrying cycles within the metro. Particularly for folks in and round BKC, there will likely be a service highway for folks to cycle from Andheri (when it’s linked by Part 2). That may cut back air pollution, shift them from the primary highway and make it extra motorable.

The way forward for urbanism lies partially in NMT, and it’s the want of the hour. Peoples’ adaptation relies upon upon their consolation stage and the time they save. We’ve got to supply the suitable circumstances. For cycles, this usually means a transparent and direct highway or a cycle monitor, and a mechanism for holding cycles at stations. This we are able to additionally outsource to a cycle offering company. Folks will then shift to NMT, if not absolutely then partially.

Traffic on the WEH highway next to the Dahisar metro station
The state of site visitors on the Western Categorical Freeway (WEH) beside the Dahisar metro station on a Saturday night time. Pic credit score: Sabah Virani

Will the metro cut back the site visitors on the roads, such because the Western Categorical Freeway (WEH), and to what extent?

As soon as the brand new metro strains are linked to Line 1, which stretches throughout Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar, the two north-south strains will kind a whole loop with the east-west line. We predict about 20% of the site visitors on the WEH to shift when this occurs. Line 2 and three will cut back extra of the site visitors on Linking highway, the place a number of congestion happens.

What are the measures taken to extend first and last-mile connectivity to different public transport techniques from the metro? Are there new feeder bus routes?

First-mile connectivity connects commuters from dwelling to the metro. There, auto rickshaws (within the suburbs), metropolis buses and non motorised transport (NMT) play a job. However final mile connectivity, between the station and office, is equally necessary. Metropolis buses additionally play an enormous position right here. We’ve coordinated with the native metropolis bus and they’re re-routing their bus routes for this function.

We’ve additionally ensured multimodal integration, so buses can cease at acceptable positions not too distant from the stations for folks to get on and off seamlessly.

The Metro Line 1 – operating from Versova to Ghatkopar – doesn’t meet its anticipated ridership, even earlier than the pandemic. It has been rivalled by the BEST buses, lowering its footfall when BEST slashed its charge. Why so, and is there a hazard that sample will repeat with the brand new strains?

The Metro Line 1 follows the identical route because the Andheri-Ghatkopar Hyperlink highway, and even then we’d requested BEST to reorganise their bus routes as a feeder service. In any other case, it could be a dropping proposition for BEST.

Line 1 is kind of profitable. It covers 11 km and had a ridership of 4-4.5 lakh. Delhi, compared, has solely 2 million riders for 150-200 km. However the ridership of Line 1 got here down throughout COVID-19 as a result of a number of issues modified. We don’t know if the modifications are everlasting or non permanent, and the way lengthy they’ll final. Mumbai is already recovering, so it definately received’t be dangerous for lengthy. If correct connectivity and repair is given, ridership will likely be good.

Learn extra: Interview: “Folks purchase automobiles in Mumbai as a result of they don’t have to consider parking price”

Some commentators have raised the concern that due to the comparatively excessive ticket worth (in comparison with the trains), the metro dangers turning into semi-elite. Do you share these considerations, and have any steps been taken to attraction to lower-income teams?

Affordability will not be a difficulty. On Line 2A and seven, 3 km prices Rs 10. 20 km will price Rs 40-50. An auto rickshaw, which is an strange non-AC transport, takes greater than that. The speed itself could be very low, and we’re actively contemplating concessions for some folks, which we’ll announce later.

The metro and bus ought to be seen collectively as a holistic community, through which each will profit in the event that they increase one another. For that, there must be a reorientation of the native bus routes. We’re continuously in contact they usually’re already doing it.

In a earlier interview, you point out the necessity for modifications within the Improvement Management Laws, that are the principles that management growth in a metropolis based on a deliberate course of. Transit oriented growth (TOD) would, as you stated, encourage development in inhabitants and work alternatives round transit stations. What are the modifications wanted?

Every time we usher in new transit strains, the world alongside the hall develops. The advantages of the event goes to the native builders. However the authorities wants cash to spend money on initiatives and the metro, so the concept is to plough again these revenues, even when it’s only 5-10%, again to MMRDA.

Constructing a metro is pricey and its operational efficiencies are large. Any metropolis price its salt has a correct metro, however for that you just want sources for it, and land is an excellent useful resource.

We’re anticipating stamp responsibility concessions to be given wherever there are metro strains. We’re additionally requesting the federal government to approve transit oriented growth (TOD), so a part of the extra advantages the native builders get pleasure from will go to the federal government for use for the metro. If a flat price Rs 1 crore appreciates in worth to Rs 1.2 crore, we’ll solely be asking for Rs 50,000, a really small quantity of the whole.

Travellers in the Dahisar metro station
Solely Part 1 of the strains is at present operational, from Dahisar to Dahanukarwadi and Aarey. Pic credit score: Sabah Virani

With the 337 km of metro strains deliberate by 2030, is Mumbai on its option to turning into a metro-centric metropolis?

The plan is to make a transit-oriented metropolis. Within the final 15 years, the share of public transport in Mumbai has gone right down to nearly 9-10% of the whole. This can be a very harmful signal, as a result of the share ought to at all times improve. To deal with this, it’s essential to have a transit and metro techniques. It’s doable Mumbai might change into a metro-oriented metropolis within the course of.

What’s the subsequent metro line on the horizon, and when ought to Mumbaikars count on it to start out?

Line 6, which is stretched throughout the east-west axis alongside JVLR, will take about 2-3 years. We additionally wish to full Line 4, connecting south Mumbai to Thane, within the subsequent 3 years. The opposite main metro line is the underground Line 3 between Colaba and Seepz, and will likely be accomplished inside 2 to 2 and a half years.

In 3-4 years, Mumbai will likely be properly linked in all instructions. Folks will be capable to get pleasure from good, snug and protected journeys. Mumbaikars have an excellent time to sit up for.

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