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'Kamal Nath's Metro suggestion logical'

MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana says the authority will consider Urban Development Minister's idea of adopting Delhi model for Metro Phase II
 
Taking a serious note of Union Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath's statement that the State should adopt the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) model for Phase II of the Metro corridor, MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana said that the suggestions were logical.


At snail's pace: Construction work of the Metro rail in progress near
Western Express Highway in Andheri (E). File PIC

 
Speaking to MiD DAY, Asthana, said, "I have read reports that Union Minister Kamal Nath has said that Phase II of the Metro should be implemented on DMRC model. However, till now, there has been no communication from their side. But we will consider his suggestions, as they are logical." The Union minister had reacted strongly over the implementation of the public private partnership (PPP) model on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro rail corridor. In a statement on Thursday, the minister took potshots at the state government over the delay in the Metro project.

The minister further added that the Metro project would be extended to the cities with a population of over 20 lakh. Hence, there is a likelihood that Nagpur will be the next city to get a Metro rail.

Current scenario
At present, in the ongoing Phase I, of the three lines, Line I -- Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (11.07-km-long) and Line II -- Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (32-km-long) are being implemented on a PPP model and the construction work is being carried by Reliance Infra.

However, Line I has been facing severe criticism for the delay in completion.

Besides, MMRDA, which is co-constructing the line along with Reliance Infra, has already extended deadlines on several occasions, raising serious doubts over the success of the PPP model.

Moreover, the construction work on Line II is yet to commence, this the fact that the project was inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil way back in August 2009. If this wasn't enough, the MMRDA is yet to invite tenders for Line III -- Colaba-Bandra corridor.

The prophecy
In a letter written by DMRC Chief and Metro man Dr E Sreedharan to the state government and MMRDA two
years ago, he had suggested that Line II should be constructed between Charkop-Colaba, while Line III should stretch between Bandra-Mankhurd, and that both these projects should be constructed on the lines of the DMRC model rather than Build Operate Transfer (BOT) model, which has been a failure worldwide.

Phase II construction
If the MMRDA decides to abide by the minister's suggestion, then the work on the proposed Metro lines in Phase II would be carried out as per the DMRC model. These lines include:  
>> Line IV: Charkop-Dahisar (7.5-km-long)
>> Line V: Ghatkopar-Mulund (2.5-km-long)
>> Line VI: BKC-Kanjurmarg (19.5-km-long)

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