Expressing concern over the heavy vehicular traffic in Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday warned that the lockdown-like curbs would be made stricter if such a situation continues.
“I myself cross-checked my speech made last night. I did not say that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted,” Thackeray said.
Mumbai will have to be put under stricter curbs if such a situation continues, the CM said while speaking in suburban Bandra at the inauguration of the trial run of two Metro lines and Bhoomi pujan of the elevated road and vehicular underpass to connect the airport.
The announcement comes just a day after the Maharashtra government extended the lockdown till June 15 for corporations of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Vasai Virar, Nagpur – all civic bodies with more than one million population.
The decision was taken after considering the positivity rate of the Covid-19 spread and the occupancy of oxygen beds.
Thackeray on Monday flagged off the trial runs for the city’s 2A Yellow Line and 7 Red Line, both elevated Metros, and other projects.
Over the next few days, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will test the two lines with a 6-car rake at various speeds.
The commissioning of both the lines is planned in two phases, the first phase of 20 km from Charkop depot/ Dahanukarwadi to Aarey by September 2021, and the remaining line by January 2022.
The first phase would cover 9 stations each for both the lines covering a distance of 10.50 km (Line 2A) and 9.20 km (Line 7), and the rest will be made operational in the second phase, said an official.
The Line 2A runs from Dahisar to DN Nagar, fully elevated for 18.6 km with 17 stations being built at a cost of around Rs 6,400 crore, while Line 7 runs from Dahisar East to Andheri, fully elevated for 16.5 km with 13 stations, being constructed at a cost of around Rs 6,200 crore.
Both lines will slash the current travel time from the existing 75-90 minutes to barely 25 minutes and are expected to notch a daily ridership of over 600,000 in a decade.
Thackeray also electronically inaugurated one arm of the Rajnoli flyover and Durgadi flyover on the Bhiwandi-Kalyan road. This will help strengthen road connectivity in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
Thackeray also performed Bhoomi pujan of the elevated road and vehicular underpass to connect Terminal 1 (T1) and Terminal 2 (T2) of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
These two projects are meant to improve traffic conditions at the entry/exit points from the Western Express Highway towards the Mumbai airport.
(With agency inputs)
(With inputs from DNA India)
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