The Mumbai Metro recently conducted its first trial run of the train ? a 3km run from the Versova metro station to the Azad Nagar metro station ? flagged off by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. Among others present on the occasion were UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, SVR Srinivas, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, PRK Murthy, Chief, Transport and Communication Division, MMRDA, Satish Seth, Vice Chairman, Reliance and Lalit Jalan, CEO, Reliance Infrastructure. The Chief Minister congratulated the engineers of the Mumbai Metro One Corporation, as well as the MMRDA and all the workers, technicians and other officials for making possible the trial run happen. He said that constructing a metro in such a densely crowded city as Mumbai posed many problems. The construction had been carried out without causing any obstruction in the everyday working of the Mumbai suburban railway trains or the highway traffic. Further, the construction of the pillars required digging up century-old utilities that were often unmapped at many places. Due to this each pillar had to be designed individually. These were some of the reasons for the long delay in opening of the Metro. He said that the first phase of the Metro would open to the public in September, with full services likely to begin in December this year.? The metro could be opened for public services only after the Commissioner of Railway Safety approved the trial runs and the safety standards and procedures in place for the Metro. The Mumbai Metro trains will be initially four coach trains with a capacity to carry about 1500 passengers at a time. The train could be extended to six coaches depending upon the ridership. Mumbai Metro One Corporation is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed as a joint venture between Reliance Energy Limited, Veolia Transport, France and MMRDA to run Mumbai Metro. The metro stations have been designed as per NFDA norms with provision for complete evacuation of passengers within four hours in case of emergency. The stations have escalators in both directions including a stretcher lift for providing access to the concourse level as well as the platform. They also have tactile flooring and guide posts for the visually challenged. The concourses have ticketing counters, ticket vending machines, entry & exit gates, first aid rooms and information counters.