Some highly knowledgeable persons told me that that there is a wheel shortage worldwide. It might be true. But what irks me
is the customary delay of 1-2 years in each and every project going on in
Mumbai. Would the government tolerate it if rakes for DMRC are delayed due
to shortage of wheels? Certainly not. They would do anything to minimize the
delay. But in this case, no one seems to do anything. Politicians are least
bothered. No one cares what happens to this city.
I wouldn’t have objected if there was a delay of 2-3 months. It is perfectly
acceptable in a project of this magnitude. But look at the following list.
1. Thane – Kurla 5th & 6th lines: Work going on for as long as I can
remember. God knows when it will be complete. I have seen work on these
lines right from around 1997-98, when I was a kid and used to travel from
Pune to Mumbai in my vacations.
2. Borivali – Virar 3rd & 4th lines: Completed in 2007, with a delay of at
least 4 years. Even after completion, no major benefits. Instead, Virar
locals are now late by at least 15 minutes instead of the earlier 5 minute
3. Conversion to AC: Another “going on for ever” work. BVI – VR was
supposed to be AC in 2002-2003. But, it will be another 2-3 years for Borivali –
Virar to be AC. Main culprit being lack of AC/DC rakes.
4. New MRVC rakes: Already delayed by more than a year. The rakes do not have enough legroom. I
remember that the Railways had taken commuters’ feedback on 3 prototype
coaches in 2005. Definitely people must have complained about lack of
legroom. Where did that feedback go? In the dustbin?
5. SATIS: This project was supposed to improve conditions at 4 (why
only 4??!!) stations. There have been tall claims by related authorities for
so many years. But the project hasn’t even started yet. No one knows when it
will start and end.
6. Mumbai Metro: Another big joke. Our respected Prime minister
inaugurated the project with lots of fanfare in june/july 2006. Not a single
pier is erected till date. I do not know how it will be completed till 2011.
7. EMUs to run till Dahanu: Another eternally delayed project. Now
supposed to be complete by 2009.
8. There seems to be no attention given to one critical aspect at
least on WR. That is upgrading the speed of points. With so heavy traffic,
its a pain to see trains crawling over points which are placed miles apart
at a mere 15 kmph. Best Example is Borivali. Is it wrong to expect at least new
points to be 30 kph fit? If the points at BVI were 30 kmph, the delay of Virar
locals would be less by at least 5 minutes.
Only project completed in reasonable time is 5th line between Bandra Terminus &
This was the list of delayed railway projects only. List of delayed road
projects is equally long, perhaps longer. I am not posting it because it
is irrelevant here.