Ashwini Bhide, MD, MMRC
Mrs. Ashwini Bhide is heading the Mumbai Metro Line 3 (Colaba - Bandra - SEEPZ) which is 33.5 km long fully underground corridor with 27 stations connecting Colaba to SEEPZ via BKC is a part of “Mumbai Metro Master Plan”. The 33.5 km long corridor is India’s longest and Mumbai's first fully underground corridor running across Colaba to SEEPZ connecting the presently unconnected parts of the city.
This mammoth project in a bustling city such as Mumbai is being headed by a competent and a composed woman. Meet Ashwini Bhide, IAS officer who has held leadership positions for the past 20 years in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer in Zila Parishad, Addl. Divisional commissioner, Joint Secretary to Governor of Maharashtra, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner in MMRDA and Secretary in School Education and Sports.
In a recent conversation with Metro Rail Today, Mrs. Bhide talked about current status of Mumbai Metro Line 3.
The Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 Corridor, which is fully underground, has been envisaged with a view to provide Mumbaikars respite from the inconvenient, hassled, and chaotic travel – to change the way Mumbaikars commute. This environment friendly metro will not only decongest the overcrowded suburban trains but also provide connectivity to the areas which are not connected with suburban rail network like worli, Kalbadevi, MIDC and both International and Domestic terminals of Airport. The Corridor is also set to reduce vehicle trips and, in turn, save about 3.5 lakh litres of fuel every day – improving overall transportation scenario in the financial capital of India.
Metro 3 will cater to 17 lakh passengers daily with an unfailing frequency of 3-4 minutes, ferrying approximately 2500 passengers at a time and will provide connectivity to 6 major business and employment centres including Nariman Point, Cuffe Parade, Fort, Lower Parel, BKC and SEEPZ/MIDC. Also, easy access to over 30 educational institutes, 13 hospitals, 14 religious places and over 30 recreational facilities.
Metro 3 will integrate with other Metros, Monorail, Suburban Rail and ST Bus Services. Both the terminal of the airport would have metro connectivity. The line will also reduce congestion on suburban railways at 15% of its ridership will come from those passengers who are presently using suburban railways.
Metro-3 Corridor – described by experts as the most complex and difficult urban transportation project. The Corridor has deployed 17 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs). It’s for the first time in India that a project had employed 17 TBMs simultaneously. Entire tunnelling has been done in rocky strata mainly made of Basalt, Breccia and Tuff. Various challenges faced in construction of metro-3 include tunnelling in complicated geology and below old, dilapidated buildings around congested neighbourhood and in close vicinity of heritage buildings. Also, certain limits for vibrations have to be maintained and continuously monitored while tunnelling to ensure the safety of such buildings in vicinity of the station area surrounded by historical structures. The most daunting task was tunnelling beneath the Mithi river. However, the teams of experts and engineers have surmounted such challenges by using latest technical knowhow and engineering expertise.
Till date overall 79% project work and overall, 90.6% Civil and 46.1% systems works has been completed.
MMRC received its second train of eight coaches 29th December 2022. Trial runs of both trains are in progress.
M/s. RITES Limited is appointed as the Consultant for preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR). DPR is expected to be ready by June 2023.
More than 50% work of Carshed has been completed.
First phase of Metro-3 corridor from Aarey to BKC is expected to roll out in December 2023.