Officials from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will meet representatives of the Central government next week to discuss securing financial assistance for the construction of the costly Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro rail corridor.
The development body will also apprise the Ministry of Urban Development about the detailed plan for the citys third Metro line,which is to be fully underground and is therefore much more expensive than the first two. Representatives from the Department of Economic Affairs would also be present at the meeting,said MMRDA Additional Metropolitan Commissioner SVR Srinivas.
We hope that the Central government will contribute up to 20-25 per cent of the total project cost,which is about Rs 20,000 crore. Even if it contributes around Rs 4,000 crore,it will be a big help, Srinivas said.
This will be the citys first underground Metro corridor stretching for 33 kilometres and having 27 stations. The first two corridors the 11-kilometre Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line and the 32-kilometre Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd line are elevated. The original cost of the first Metro line was Rs 2,356 crore,while that of the second line was Rs 7,660 crore.
There wont be any major problems in securing environmental clearance for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz line as it is underground, Srinivas said.
The construction of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor,which was expected to be operational by 2014,is yet to begin as the MMRDA is still awaiting an environmental clearance for the car depots.
Meanwhile,the MMRDA has nearly concluded talks with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to partly fund the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz line and officials are likely to visit Tokyo to finalise the loan agreement next month. A team from JICA had visited us 10 days ago. They are comfortable with the project and a final agreement should be signed soon, Srinivas said. About 50 per cent of the cost of the project should come from JICA.
The MMRDA is also in talks with officials at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport for partially sharing the financial burden of the the Metro line by either constructing or financing three stations as it will improve connectivity to the airport.
Unlike the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor,the third line has faced no significant objection from the public as the construction would be underground.