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MMRDA in talks for foreign funding

The study also indicated that the line can be extended 7.5 kilometres further northwards up to Dahisar.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | May 20, 2014 1:39:53 am

Looking to revive the stalled Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro corridor, which was originally supposed to be completed by 2015, the city’s development authority has started talks with international funding agencies, seeking financial assistance to implement the project.

Since preliminary reports of a study the development authority had commissioned signaled that it is technically feasible to construct the Metro underground, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is considering implementing the project on a cash contract.

The study also indicated that the line can be extended 7.5 kilometres further northwards up to Dahisar.

Sanjay Sethi, additional metropolitan commissioner at the MMRDA, said, “At a very preliminary level, we have started talks with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to explore the possibility of constructing the Metro on a cash contract with aid from the funding agency. In fact, it is not just JICA. We will be approaching various such funding agencies.”

The Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro was originally planned as the second Metro line in Mumbai after the elevated 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro. Like the first line, the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro too was to be an elevated one, constructed on a public private partnership model.

The development authority had also firmed up an agreement for the same. However, the project was stuck owing to issues with securing complete right of way and a clear environment nod.

Last year, MMRDA had appointed RITES, a central government enterprise that provides engineering consultancy services, to study if the proposed Metro can be constructed underground and if the Charkop-Dahisar Metro, envisioned as a separate line, can be merged with this project.

Sethi said the MMRDA will receive a full report on the study along with a detailed presentation next week.

“However, we have started doing some ground work to explore various options as one of the most feasible ways of implementing projects like these is on the lines of what we have planned for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro,” Sethi added.

The MMRDA has decided to construct the 33.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro, which has been planned as a fully-underground line, on a cash contract model in multiple packages with financial aid from JICA. The agency is providing a loan for 57.2 per cent of the project cost with a tenure of 30 years at an annual interest rate of 1.4 per cent.

The development authority has also proposed to implement the showpiece Sewri-Nhava Sheva Mumbai Trans Harbour Link with funding from JICA after the project failed to attract any bids under a public private partnership model.

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