Alarmed by the lack of bidders coming forward for infrastructure projects in the city,the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has proposed to redesign the only underground Metro rail corridor,which would bring the project cost down.
The 20-km Colaba-Bandra underground corridor has been designed to run underground Metro between Colaba and Mahim. But in the new proposal from the MMRDA to the state government,the former has suggested the stretch between Colaba and Mahalaxmi (10 km) remain underground while an elevated stretch should be constructed between Mahalaxmi and Bandra.
Both the proposals have been submitted to the state government. They will take a call on the alignment of the third corridor, said G R Madan,Director,Mass Rapid Transit System,MMRDA.
An entire underground corridor was estimated to cost around Rs 12,000 crore with a viability gap fund of nearly Rs 9,000 crore. As the VGF was huge,the nodal agency had planned to take up the corridor on the lines of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Since no bidders have come forward for the Rs 6,192-crore Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor,the state government would now want to opt for a cheaper option.
According to a senior official,if the government takes up the shorter underground corridor,the MMRDA would easily save around Rs 3,000 crore from the corridor.
If the underground-part from Mahalaxmi to Bandra is elevated,the project cost would be around Rs 9,000 crore. So far no decision has been taken,and we are concentrating on the second corridor, said a senior MMRDA official requesting anonymity.