Ashwini Bhide, managing director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL), is an IAS officer of the 1995 batch, Maharashtra cadre. She has held several positions at the district level for both administrative and regulatory works. She was chief executive officer of the Konkan and Vidarbha zila parishads and has also worked with the governor of Maharashtra for a long time where she dealt with the issue of regional imbalances in the state. Apart from this, she worked with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority for five and a half years. This is her first stint with the infrastructure sector. She has worked on projects such as the eastern freeway, the elevated road to Mumbai airport and the Mumbai monorail. She was also associated with the execution of the Mumbai metro, Line 1, where she had the responsibility of granting right of way as well as resolving all site-related issues. Earlier, Bhide has also worked as secretary, school education and sports, in the state.
Since 2016, she has been at the helm of MMRCL, where her responsibility involves the execution of the fully underground 33.5 km Line 3 of the Mumbai metro in a phased manner. Phase I of around 12 km is targeted to be commissioned by December 2021. The entire Colaba-Bandra-Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone stretch is scheduled for completion by June 2022.
“While executing the metro project, a lot of challenges are being faced. First and foremost, is the unavailability of a car depot and prolonged inability to commence work due to litigation. Considerable time has been lost in getting clearances and now the challenge is to complete work on the car depot in just a year’s time. That said, efforts are being made to complete the project on time,” says Bhide.
With regard to her management style, Bhide considers herself to be a team person. She likes to delegate responsibilities to each person of the team clearly and transparently, thus eliminating the need for micro-management. But, at the same time, she is a keen observer and anticipates hindrances and suggests solutions beforehand.
A postgraduate in English literature from Pune University, Bhide was the IAS topper among women candidates in her batch. Her strength lies in her ability to learn technical things, considering her non-engineering background.