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Mumbai Metro Line 3 faces delay, cost escalation as state examines alternate car shed sites

At a review meeting on Friday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked Mumbai Metro and MMRDA officials to examine whether the proposed Metro car shed in Aarey Colony can be shifted to Kanjurmarg or Pahadi-Goregaon.

Written by Neeraj Tiwari | Mumbai |
Updated: August 30, 2020 10:42:39 am
Mumbai Metro, Mumbai Metro line 3, Mumbai Metro line 3 delay, aarey colony shed, aarey colony mumbai metro, mumbai city newsAccording to Metro officials, 80 per cent of tunnelling and civil work for the first phase of the Metro had been completed. (File)

Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) officials have expressed apprehension that the Metro Line 3 project may be delayed by three years and its cost go up by at least Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 crore if the car shed for the line was shifted from the proposed Aarey Colony.

At a review meeting on Friday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked Mumbai Metro and MMRDA officials to examine whether the proposed Metro car shed in Aarey Colony can be shifted to Kanjurmarg or Pahadi-Goregaon.

“If the MMRCL gets a go-ahead to start work on the Aarey land parcel today, it will take us a minimum of two-and-a-half years to complete the project. However, if we are given an alternate site, work will have to begin from scratch and it will take anywhere between three or more years to complete the project,” a senior Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) official said.

According to Metro officials, 80 per cent of tunnelling and civil work for the first phase of the Metro had been completed. While the tunnelling and civil work were expected to be completed by March 2021, officials said, it would become futile without the car shed. The delay in construction of the car shed, and a need to find a new location for it, could end up levying an additional financial burden of Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 3,000 crore on the project, they added.

The 33.5-km underground Metro line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) passes through Aarey Colony and its car shed was supposed to come up in this forested area. Last year, there were huge protests against the felling of over 2,000 trees in Aarey Colony for the car shed.

In December last year, the CM had formed a committee of IAS officers to review the site for car shed. In January, the committee submitted its report stating “it’s not viable to shift the Metro car shed from Aarey colony to other sites”. Seven months later, however, there seems to be no clarity from the state on whether it would adhere to the committee’s advice.

The frequent delays in Metro Line 3, including the 10-month stay on the construction work on the car shed in Aarey last year, meanwhile, has already led to the project cost spiralling by nearly Rs 9,000 crore, from Rs 23,136 crore in 2011 to Rs 32,000 crore. Officials said the proposal to shift the car shed from Aarey land parcel is likely to escalate the cost further.

Devendra Fadnavis criticises car shed relocation

Former chief minister and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the state government’s decision to relocate Metro 3 car shed from Aarey to an alternate site was a reflection of wrong policy.

Clarifying that the BJP government had not violated any rules, Fadnavis said that a Uddhav Thackeray government-appointed committee to assess the controversial car shed site too had given its consent for Aarey.

With Inputs Fom ENS

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