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Mumbai’s Metro Train Moves Along
Mumbai is the gateway of India and the financial and commercial capital of India – a powerhouse of a metro city. Mumbai also sits as the financial and commercial capital of India. It is the sixth largest city in the world after Tokyo, New York, Seoul, Mexico City and Sau Paulo and also is the largest city in India. Mumbai contributes about 33% of the country’s income tax, 60% of customs duty and 40% of the foreign trade.
The city however, is facing severe problems regarding air and water pollution, unsatisfactory solid waste and sewage management, exploitation of wetlands, high traffic volume, insufficient housing, poor infrastructure and severe economic disparity. After repeated delays, by the end of March, Bloomberg reports that Mumbai’s first metro train will start carrying passengers. The 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) line was built by a group led by billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. The Mumbai Metro is India’s first public private partnership metro project in which all the three phases, the construction, operation and maintenance, were all given to a private player.
On May 1st 2013, a successful 2 km trial run from Versova to Azad Nagar stations was conducted on Line 1 in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who stated that the line would open to the public from September 2013. However, MMRDA officials told Business Standard in August 2013 that the metro would be delayed further as it had not received approval from the Central Railway Safety Commissioner, and also did not complete various amenities, including lifts, staircases, canteen and seating arrangement for commuters.
D.K. Joshi, an economist at Crisil Ltd., said “In some ways, the pace of infrastructure development is synonymous with the slow economic growth,” Mumbai-based Joshi also reported that, “Considering the importance of the city as a financial center, a smooth transport system is a necessity and not a luxury.”
According to Commissioner Urvinder Pal Singh Madan, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority plans to spend 300 billion rupees ($4.8 billion) on transportation in the next five years, a 50 percent increase in allocation from the previous half-decade.
Image Credit: www.archive.indianexpress.comMumbai's Metro Train Moves Along by Jaan