Original deadline for the entire line was May 2011.
But it missed the deadline by nearly 8 long years and the entire line has been opened only this February !
What opened in February 2014 from Chembur to Wadala was only a part of this line.
10 years for the construction of a 19.54 km long 🚝 line point out to faulty planning and execution of the project.
Road infrastructure projects have similar story. Those who were born in early 1990s would remember “growing up” seeing the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road being built. Even Santacruz-Chembur Link Road got delayed multiple times.
Eastern freeway was the only road project completed on time under Congress rule. Actually , it wasn’t completed on time. It missed the original deadline by 1 year.
But , as track record shows, if under congress rule ,a project misses a deadline only by 1 year , it is as good as completed on time.
2 other projects were also implemented on time under Congress regime and I would definitely credit them for it.
Those 2 projects are -
1) procurement of new rakes for Mumbai local trains. This was indeed speedy and timely. 4 rakes were delivered to Mumbai every month by Integral Coach factory in Chennai - which was a record which not even the best transport manufacturers had achieved at that time.
2)upgradation of existing Mumbai airport 🛫-ranging from building T 2 to upgrading runways.
So I would give credits to congress for doing these 3 good things.
But sadly for 2 projects finished on time , there are dozens of others which didn’t.
The Kurla -Thane (16 km distance) 5th and 6th lines , took 13 long years to finish. 13 years for 16 km double track. These lines have segregated trains bound for Nahur Container yard and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus from Thane onwards , ensuring that fast locals run fast from Thane to Mumbai CSMT atleast.
Now consider Mumbai metro 🚉 Line 1 (Versova-Ghatkopar) Foundation stone was laid in February 2006 by then PM -Congressi Manmohan Singh.
The line length is only 10.81 km.
Yet the line took 8 years for construction and opened only in June 2014 while original deadline was July 2011, which was revised and skipped several times. Again pointing to faulty planning and execution of the project.
8 years for a 10.81 km line is just too much.
1 reason for delay was that permission for constructing bridge over western railway took 2 years !! Now think : why did the permission take over 2 years when PM himself knew about the project !???
The original metro 🚉 plan of MMRDA in 2005 had envisaged that by 2016, Mumbai would have 4 metro lines
But other than Versova-Ghatkopar , construction of other metro lines DID NOT EVEN START !!!
What kind of governance was this ?? When 10 people die on Mumbai tracks daily , shouldn’t a project like Mumbai metro 🚉 been given highest priority !?? Isn’t managing to construct barely 11 kms in 8 long years a big joke with Mumbaikars ?
Now , come to present day.
The BJP led Central and State Governments which took power in 2014, have managed to start construction of more than 6 metro 🚉lines in Mumbai simultaneously.
Line 7- Dahisar-Andheri east (further expanded upto Bhayandar from Dahisar side and Airport from Andheri side)
Line 2A- Dahisar-D.N. Nagar
Line 2B- D.N. Nagar-Bandra-Mankhurd
Line 4-Wadala-Ghatkopar-Mulund-Thane-Kasarvadavali (to be extended to Gaimukh)
Line 6-Swami Samarth Nagar-Jogeshwari-Powai-Vikhroli
The combined length of these projects is well above 100 kms !!
Anyone travelling around Mumbai would know how speedy the construction is !
All these lines have their deadlines from 2020 -2022 and these projects are largely on time to meet the deadlines.
If at all , some genuine problem does arise , May miss deadline once, but unlikely to be more than that.
Now Sewri- Nhava Sheva Mumbai trans-harbour Link was also talked about repeatedly for years and years - but it’s construction began only and only in 2018.
Even Bandra-Versova sea link construction started only in 2018.
Another project of utmost importance - Navi Mumbai International Airport , also has a similar story !!
Also , lot of escalators and lifts have been installed at railway stations in and around Mumbai, hugely benefitting senior citizens and divyang passengers/commuters.
Most importantly , platform heights have been raised at several platforms. I very well remember , how during congress days , I despite being 6 feet 3 inches tall , had to literally jump to alight even on platforms as important as platform 4 of Dadar Western Railway which sees thousands of commuters alighting from Churchgate fasts. Such was the vertical gap. You can only imagine the plight of shorter people.
A thing as basic as raising heights of platforms was super slow way back then and dozens of commuters getting injured daily did not seem to open the eyes of railways.
Now again going in history,
the Shivsena-BJP Government from 1995-1999 got 55 flyovers constructed in Mumbai and around. They had also prepared the plan for Bandra-Worli sealink.
Original deadline for the sea link completion was 2002.
But in 1999, Maharashtra chose Congress-NCP and repeated it in 2004. Result is that Sealink which was to be completed by 2002, got completed by 2010 !! 8 year delay.
This year also , there are elections to the Central and State Governments.
Let me tell very clearly , if at all BJP is not elected at both Centre and State , then the story of Bandra-Worli sealink would get repeated for all under construction infrastructure projects in Mumbai - because congress is most shameless and most corrupt party, it would make excuses to stall the construction till it gets it’s cut.
I fully agree that currently Mumbai is messed up due to multiple metro-construction work.
But who is to be blamed for this mess ???
In cricket, if opening batsmen take lot of balls to score runs , then to compensate for that , the middle order batsmen have to score runs really fast.
So today , if BJP led governments have to construct 6 metro lines simultaneously, it is only and only because the previous 3 congress governments from 1999-2014 built only 1 metro line in 8 years (2006-2014), causing loss of lot of time for Mumbai. Blame for this mess lies entirely on congress.
But imagine if same Congress-NCP return to power even in state government , like I mentioned story of Bandra-Worli sealink , construction of the 6 metro lines which have scheduled completion from 2020-2022, would continue well into the 2020s to be completed only by 2027-29.
Wouldn’t this scenario be dreadful ??
People accuse me of being biased towards BJP , but fact is - knowing these things and having a good memory makes me automatically tilt towards BJP.
Conclusion is simple- if you want Mumbai upgraded on time - vote back both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis back to power, ensure that you , your family and friends vote for them irrespective of your local BJP/Shivsena candidate.
- else be prepared for perpetuation of the current inconvenience for 10 more years instead of 2-3.
And if you agree with what I said , then please share this post as much as possible. Copy and paste the entire text and send it to atleast 50 people on whatsapp , especially those who stay in Mumbai.
Telling and reminding people of these things is extremely necessary since public memory is very short.