The state government on Wednesday decided to examine the possibility of changing plans for the two crucial Metro rail routes in Mumbai.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis chaired a first ‘war room’ meeting and directed officials to consider the option of constructing the Charkop-Bandra-Dahisar and the Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavali Metro lines as elevated corridors instead of underground ones, as is the current plan. The two Metro lines have undergone several changes in design over the years, leading to delays. The erstwhile Congress-NCP government had taken a policy decision of constructing all future Metro corridors in Mumbai as underground routes, following several hurdles and delay in the first elevated Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro project.
An official who attended the meeting, said there was a view that the two Metro lines could be completed faster and at a lower cost if constructed as an elevated line, given the alignment. “The chief minister has asked for all options to be studied,” the official said.
Earlier, the chief minister as MMRDA chairman had formally approved proposals drafted by the erstwhile government to construct the 40-km Charkop-Bandra-Dahisar Metro as a fully-underground corridor and the 30-km Thane-Wadala-Kasarvadavali Metro as a partially elevated one.
Both corridors were originally planned as fully-elevated Metro lines. In the war room meeting, Fadnavis reviewed 21 vital infrastructure and housing projects, including the trans harbour link, Navi Mumbai Airport, Metro lines, cluster redevelopment scheme and creation of affordable housing projects.
“The planning should be in such a manner that all important infrastructure projects should be completed by January 2019,” Fadnavissaid.
Separately, Fadnavis also gave directions for the speedy handover of the 32 hectare government land that is required for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro.
Stressing on the lack of land, especially for affordable housing, officials also considered tapping into salt-pan land to create infrastructure. Fadnavis also discucsed fast-tracking the city’s largest cluster redevelopment project, the Bhendi Bazaar revamp project and instructed the civic body to grant a commencement certificate at the earliest.