The Devendra Fadnavis government on Thursday approved a Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) budget of Rs 12,157 crore for the 2018-19 fiscal. This is a rise of 74 per cent from last year’s budget of Rs 6,976 crore. Marking transport infrastructure for the city as its main focus, these projects have got the lion’s share. “This is the highest ever allocation. It is the first time that we have taken so many projects in one go. With so many Metros, road and bridge projects, the allocation had to be commensurating the projects. Earlier, we had only one or two projects in a year but this year, we have a very large number of projects. This trend is likely to continue for the coming years as these projects will continue for at least five to six years and more such projects will be coming up,” said U P S Madan, the Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.
Of the total allocation, the MMRDA has set aside Rs 4,700 crore for seven upcoming Metro corridors. With the government aiming to complete Metro 2A and 7 by next year, they have got the larger share with Rs 1,588 crore for the Dahisar-DN Nagar Metro and Rs 1,262 crore for Andheri (E) to Dahisar (E) Metro.
The Metros to begin construction this year have received smaller shares in the pie with an allocation of Rs 700 crore for Metro 2B DN Nagar to Mandale Metro, Rs 450 crore for Metro 4 Wadala-Ghatkopar-Mulund-Thane-Kasarvadavali metro and Rs 100 crore each for Metro 5 Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan metro and Metro 6 Swami Samarth Nagar-JVLR-SEEPZ-Kanjurmarg-Vikhroli EEH metro. Meanwhile the underground Metro 3 Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor, constructed by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), has been allocated Rs 500 crores.
Meanwhile, the authority has also allocated Rs 2,100 crore for the the country’s longest sea-link Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) from Sewri to Nhava Sheva. With the Monorail to begin operation next month, the MMRDA has set aside Rs 217.50 crore for the Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail. The grand Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial at the seafront Indu Mills in Dadar has received Rs 150 crore.
“Dr Ambedkar and his teachings have been an inspiration for so many generations and will remain so for the generations to come. Our effort is to keep his footsteps highlighted for all of us to follow,” said Fadnavis.
While another Rs 82.65 crore has been allocated for MMRDA’s headquarters Bandra Kurla Complex, which will also see the construction of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) soon, the proposed Integrated Ticketing System (ITS) has received Rs 150 crore. “This is only a token allocation as the work is not going to be in full swing this fiscal. The ITS is definitely one of our main focus and we have allocated Rs 150 crore-130 crore as capital expenditure and Rs 20 crore for the upgrade of the existing metro and monorail corridor to make it compatible with the new technology,” said Madan.
The MMRDA has also allocated a sizeable amount for several road projects, like Rs 180 crore for the widening of SCLR up to Kurla (CST Road) to Vakola Bridge and construction of elevated road from BKC to WEH. Another Rs 126 crore has been set aside for maintenance and repairs of the WEH and the EEH, apart from Rs 70 crore for the improvement of Chheda Nagar Junction.
Apart from an allocation of Rs 50 crore for improvement of road network outside MMR, the budget also sets aside Rs 1,290 crore for the Extended Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project that aims to make available infrastructure facilities in the MMR to help industries and create newer opportunities. The authority has further made an allocation of Rs 581 crore for the ongoing 403 MLD Surya Regional Water Supply Scheme that will collect water from Surya Dam, treat it at Surya Nagar and distribute it to Mira-Bhayandar and Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporations by laying 88-km long pipeline.
Labour Welfare Fund to be created
The MMRDA during its meeting on Thursday decided to create a Labour Welfare Fund for the workers deployed on different Metro Projects in the city. The Fund will be created through the various penal actions taken against the contractors for accidents causing light, grievous and fatal injuries; reporting accidents late or willfully suppressing them etc. “This is not only to press contractors to take adequate safety measures during construction but also to take care of the workers and their family members by compensating them in case of any mishaps. The MMRDA will soon draft a policy based on which the sufferer and his family can be compensated,” said U P S Madan, the Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.