Local residents poke fun at the administration for delaying the inauguration of the Navi Mumbai Metro Line 1, calling it an “administrative curse”.
Kharghar: For the last couple of months, residents of Navi Mumbai, especially those residing or travelling between Belapur and Taloja, have been waiting for the Phase 1 of Navi Mumbai Metro Line 1 to be flagged off for commercial operations. Why? Well, because after a whole 12 years of dilly-dallying, which included a failed contract with the first contractor, the Navi Mumbai Metro Line 1 between Belapur and Pendhar (Taloja) was finally made ready for operations.
Sources from the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), shared that the inauguration of the Navi Mumbai Metro is, ironically, stuck for the “failure to confirm dates with VVIPs” who will be attending the inauguration event of the Navi Mumbai Metro. One of the prime guests being honourable PM Narendra Modi.
Residents find it hard to digest the fact that the attendance of VVIPs takes precedence over the interests of the people. Some even believe it may be cursed.
Satya Pathak, a resident of Kharghar, who shifted base to Delhi for work and visits Kharghar from time to time for a few months, remarks sarcastically, “The manner in which the development and completion of the Navi Mumbai Metro has transpired, one would say that it was either poorly planned and executed, or simply cursed – meaning under an “administrative curse”, where the slack administration puts on a curse by delaying development of such projects owing to poor planning, incompetence, or vested interests. It is such a shame that these so-called infrastructure projects of Navi Mumbai – The Navi Mumbai Metro and the Navi Mumbai International Airport have been dragged on for years. Only a fool would find any joy in the mere existence of these mega infrastructure plans on paper. So much for ROI on property investments in these areas. If it takes decades to materialise, then investments make no sense for small time investors. So, it is right when I say that the metro project (along with the airport project) is cursed. Why else would it be been dying to see the daylight, right?”
The foundation of the Navi Mumbai Metro project was laid down in 2011 with an allocated budget of Rs 300 crore, which shot up to Rs 2000 crore over 12 years, owing to the multiple delays. And now, after finally having got all approvals required after the trial runs, the Navi Mumbai Metro waits for the green flag.
It is the 5th month since the Navi Mumbai Metro received the mandatory safety certificate from the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS), allowing the commencement of commercial operations on the Belapur-Pendhar metro line. However, now it is stuck for the lack of appointments.
Mohit Tiwari, another resident says, “Well, first they lured in buyers and sold properties saying that the Navi Mumbai Metro will become a reality in some years (it took 12 years), and now as the service is finally about to commence, property prices are seeing a hike all around Kharghar and Taloja, especially in areas in close proximity of the Navi Mumbai Metro line. But to be frank, the promise of the metro has clearly outlived its purpose for many of the old buyers who had bought properties a decade back in the hope of the metro line becoming operational at least 5-6 years back. Many of those have even shifted base from Kharghar and Taloja. It is only the new buyers who will enjoy the perks of buying in an area with the metro being operational, even though they will be buying at premium prices now as every property consultant, big or small, in Kharghar and Taloja, is having a ball, quoting idiotic prices for properties as the “metro services are about to commence”. Surprisingly, they are already getting enquiries from many such prospective buyers who want to invest in areas near the metro. Those who had bought a decade ago for investment purpose are finally getting in apposition to make up for the lost years by quoting premium prices.”
For those who are unaware, the Belapur-Pendhar metro line of the Navi Mumbai Metro Line 1 has 11 metro stations enroute, spanning across 11.1 kms. The line will be further extended to Taloja MIDC and then till Khandeshwar, covering a total of 23.4 kms, with 20 stations in total.
Residents are hoping that the higher governance will act responsibly and inaugurate the Navi Mumbai Metro before the end of 2023.
Ashish Sharma, a collegian, says, “I hope they are not simply dragging the dates to inaugurate the line on 26 January 2024. Although it would be good day to do so, it won’t be the right thing to do. They should simply wrap it up by the end of 2023.”
Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by lp@admin