WITHIN A year of it being proposed, a 380-m long subway connecting Mantralaya, Vidhan Bhavan and the new administrative building has come a full circle, however, at an increased cost. While the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) had initially proposed that Rs 2 crore would be spent to build the subway, the project is now estimated to cost Rs 99 crore.
The MMRCL had, in January, proposed the construction of a subway to connect the Vidhan Bhavan Metro station on underground Metro 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) corridor to Mantralaya, Vidhan Bhavan and the new administrative building opposite the state secretariat. The state home department had, however, turned down the proposal citing security concerns, MMRCL officials said.
In September, the construction of the subway was approved by the home department. The PWD went on to sign an memorandum of understanding with MMRCL in mid-October for the construction of the subway.
“The MMRCL had offered direct connectivity for the three buildings with the Vidhan Bhavan Metro station. It was also planned that commercial offices will be directly connected to the station at a one-time premium cost of Rs 2 crore. But the home department did not give its nod on account of security concerns,” a senior MMRCL official said.
A home department official added, “When we received the proposal, security issues had not been addressed. That is why we had turned it down. However, after the PWD addressed the security concerns raised by us, the project has been allowed to proceed.”
He, however, declined to comment on the cost escalation.
“Solutions were sought for the security concerns and only then we went ahead with the project,” Principal Secretary (PWD) Manoj Saunik said.
The MMRCL official said, “We have started a geotechnical survey for the land to identify what kind of construction will be carried out. The subway is aimed at reducing the vehicular activity of staff in the three government buildings as well as MLAs and MPs. Our survey has found that nearly 7,000 employees travel daily from one department to another across the three buildings. The subway will provide them easier connectivity…”