The frequent delays in Metro Line 3, including the decision to stay construction work on the car shed in Aarey last year, has led to the project cost spiralling by nearly Rs 9,000 crore, from Rs 23,136 crore in 2011 to Rs 32,000 crore.
Last year, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd had revised the cost to Rs 30,000 crore. Ten months later following a stay on construction of the car shed, MMRCL has further raised the cost to Rs 32,000 crore.
Metro officials also believe the stay on construction of the car shed will have a cascading effect, which will set the project back by at least a year. The first phase was expected to be thrown open by December 2021, which is now unlikely.
”Even if we start work today, it will take more than one and a half year to complete the car shed. The deadline for the first phase of the Metro line between Colaba and BKC, which is December 2021, will be further delayed by a year and commercial operations may start in December 2022,” a senior MMRCL official said.
”Currently, only 25 per cent work on the car shed has been done. To become fully ready for Metro maintenance, it will take a year and a half. After which, trials will take place for at least three months and only after that commercial operations can start. This directly hits the deadline of Metro operations for more than a year and a few months. Even a single day extension pushes up the project cost by Rs 4.23 crore. Pushing the deadline by a year means an additional Rs 1,000 crore to the project,” another official said.
Another MMRCL official said, “The entire Metro-3 project has faced hurdles from the start. Hurdles like rehabilitation of residents, noise issue at night, heritage issues, among others, delayed work. These issues led to a 56 per cent escalation in project cost. Due to all these, the deadline was extended by six months from May 2021 to December 2021.”
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