MMTPL to CM: Metro II will take more time, money

MMTPL chief writes to Prithviraj Chavan saying Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor will overshoot deadline, budget

With actual work on the 32-km-long Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (CBM) Metro corridor yet to commence, the Mumbai Metro Transport Private Limited (MMTPL) that has been awarded the contract, has written to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, stating that the project will not only miss the 2013 deadline by nearly a year, even construction cost is bound to go up.

Trudging along: While the construction of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd
corridor will take time to commence, the work on the Versova-Andheri-
Ghaktopar route has skipped several deadlines. File pic

While signing the concession agreement on October 21, 2010, the then chief minister, Ashok Chavan, had stated that the CBM Metro corridor would be ready by mid-2013 and would cost Rs 8,450 crore.

However, till date, all MMTPL has managed to do is carry out soil testing at construction sites.

Time is money
As per the letter (copy with MiD DAY) signed by Anil Gupta, president and head of infrastructure, MMTPL, pending issues, such as public interest litigations (PILs), clearances from railways, right-of-way (RoW) approval from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and lack of casting yards, among others, have been stated as primary reasons for the delay.

"The wait will cause severe time overrun and consequent project cost overrun," states the letter.

Inside info
An MMRDA official, requesting anonymity, said, "Till date, only 35 per cent of the RoW or the total land has been handed over to MMTPL by MMRDA. Even the two car depots -- Charkop and Mankhurd -- are yet to be cleared by the MoEF, as the sites fall within Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)."

To worsen MMTPL's problems, so far it has just managed to secure permission for construction on the railway premises from authorities at Bandra. Clearances from Kurla and Mankhurd are still awaited. Moreover, the hearing on five PILs -- stating that no work will be undertaken without obtaining permissions -- that have been clubbed into one, is also underway with the MMRDA.

CRZ norm violation
As per its initial plans, MMTPL was supposed to construct casting yards on solid ground, but the construction sites have been shifted to marshes located in CRZ area. Hence, building the all-essential yards is no longer a feasible idea, as the work will lead to violation of CRZ norms, thus inevitably delaying the project.

Rs 8,450 cr
The original cost of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor when proposed in 2010

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