Mumbai Metro projects worth Rs 50k crore to take over 18 months to start
CM and MMRDA chief Devendra Fadnavis approved two crucial Metro corridors at the authority’s 136th quarterly meet yesterday; officials say work will begin on them only by mid-2016
Though Chief Minister and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) Chairperson Devendra Fadnavis has approved two crucial Metro corridors Dahisar-Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (DCBM) and Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavali (WGTK) yesterday, the projects will take over 18 months to start.
Besides these, crucial projects to construct four flyovers and a road to ease peak hour congestion at Bandra-Kurla Complex were also approved at the 136th quarterly MMRDA meeting yesterday. The Metro projects will be tabled before the state cabinet first and then sent to the Centre for approval.
Metropolitan commissioner U P S Madan said, “We are happy that two crucial Metro corridors were cleared. Soon, we’ll send a proposal to the state and the Centre seeking funds to execute the projects. If everything goes as planned, construction of both the Metro corridors should start by the end of 2015.”
Sources in the MMRDA, however, claimed that beginning construction will take over 18 months because amassing funds worth R50,000 crore was a herculean task. They added that MMRDA officials will soon be approaching the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and World Bank for financial assistance.
JICA is already funding the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro Line-3, and in a meeting that took place more than two months ago, the World Bank showed interest in funding future projects by providing loans at low interest rates. Commenting on the construction of the four flyovers and the road, Madan said, “We cannot build all the flyovers at one go, as it will create traffic issues.
So we’ll start with the easiest one. For constructing the flyover from BKC to Bandra Reclamation or Mahim side, we will need permission from the environment ministry because the structure will pass close to the Mithi river and mangrove cover.” During the meeting, BMC representatives suggested that the MMRDA should construct a tunnel from BKC to Bandra Reclamation rather than constructing a flyover.
The suggestion was made citing the impact the construction work would have on the garden at Kalanagar. But the MMRDA rejected the suggestion claiming that a flyover would cost less.
The MMRDA had planned to construct two tunnels one from BKC to Kalanagar and the second one from BKC to Bandra Reclamation. But the plans were dropped due to the high costs.
While the 40-km-long Dahisar-Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd metro line will have 36 stations and be entirely underground, the 32-km-long Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavali Metro corridor will have 24 underground and six elevated stations.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) will finish both the projects in six to seven years. Both corridors will be funded by raising loans to the tune of 50% of the cost from international finance agencies, while centre and state/MMRDA are likely to provide 20% and 30%, respectively, via equity and subordinate debt.
Easing road travel
There will be a flyover each to reach the Bandra-Worli Sea Link from BKC and vice-versa. Similarly, motorists will benefit from flyovers planned from BKC to Kalanagar, and Dharavi to WEH. The cost for constructing the four flyovers is pegged at Rs 227 crore. Moreover, the authority has also sanctioned construction of a 300-metre long and 12-foot wide road, passing through government land, to streamline traffic from Dharavi to Bandra-Worli Sea Link.