The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) had announced that the first phase of Navi Mumbai Metro Project will be ready by May 2019.

On Wednesday, it said that commuters will be able to take the first ride only by April 2020.

The project has been delayed by a year as the planning agency has not been able to finish the development of the metro stations on time, a senior official said.

Almost all 11 stations for the first phase of the project are ready. While first package includes six stations, the second package has five stations.

“The contract of building platforms was given to a consortium of Sanjose-Mahavir-Supreme. But we terminated the contract last year as the work was slow and they were unable to finish work in stipulated time,” said Mohan Ninawe, senior public relations officer of Cidco.

The contract of the first package has been given to Prakash Constrowell Limited. “The first package is likely to be ready by early 2019. However, we were not getting response from bidders for the second package for a long time. So, we divided the second package into three sub-packages,” he said.

In the second package, the first sub-package consists of stations 7 and 8. Station number 9 and 11 are in second sub-package and station number 10 is in the third one.

“We have received a few responses after we divided the second package. All formalities of awarding the contract should be over by this month-end or mid-August,” Ninawe said.

According to the officials from the engineering department, the companies will take at least 10 months to finish work after the contracts are awarded.

“Thus we will be able to conduct the demo runs of the trains by June, 2019. After that for clearing the formalities of safety certificate and other relevant documents will take us another nine months. So at this point we can say that the commuters will be able to take the first ride in Navi Mumbai metro only by April, 2020,” he said.

The Navi Mumbai Metro Project has been divided into four phases. The first phase (which is now under implementation) starts from Belapur railway station and ends to Pendhar near Taloja. Total length of this route is 11.10 kilometers.

Apart from eleven stations this route will have a depot cum workshop which is being developed at Taloja. The approximate budget allocated for this phase is ₹3063.63 crores.

The second phase has been planned between Khandeshwar and Taloja MIDC. The third phase will connect Pendhar and Taloja MIDC and the fourth phase will provide connectivity between Khandeshwar and the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) near Panvel.

Ninawe said, “In the first phase we have completed 100 percent works of the viaducts (the bridges that connect the stations). The work of the railway crossings are going on in full swing and those will be ready by February, next year.”

The local residents are upset as Cidco is delaying with the project. Mrinali Sharma, 35, a resident of Taloja sad, “It takes around an hour to reach my office at Belapur by bus. Cidco is saying that by metro trains it will take just 18 minutes to reach Belapur from Taloja.”

Cidco was supposed to finish the first phase last year. Earlier this year, they said that it would be ready by May 2019. “And now they are delaying by another year. We hope this deadline will not change,” she said.

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