Urban transport loan hits World Bank hurdle

The world Bank has set objectives it wants the MMRDA to meet before granting yet another extension to the showcase Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP).

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 19, 2010 12:01:26 am

Showcase project: MMRDA wants extension till 2011-end; Bank says convince us first,meet these objectives by April

The world Bank has set objectives it wants the MMRDA to meet before granting yet another extension to the showcase Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP).

Hit by multiple delays,the showcase project’s current loan period ends on June 15,2010,after which the incomplete road and rail components become ineligible for funding. The MMRDA has sought an extension till December 2011 but the World Bank feels it needs to be convinced.

“We’re now at a situation where we want to help MMRDA in projections in completing the project. In the past the projections have been made and remade. It is important when the Bank looks at an extension for projects that last too long. This time when MMRDA submits its completion schedule,the bank needs to get convinced. The important fact is that there were hurdles and others remain. MMRDA needs to handle it in a professional manner,” said Hubert Nove-Josserand,the World Bank’s team task leader for MUTP.

The MMRDA has been given parameters to achieve by April to convince the Bank. “We will take stock of the situation in April. There are triggers that need to be achieved to gain confidence¿ then the Bank can extend the loan,” Josserand said. “Project management is on trigger. We would also like an agreement between MMRDA and Indian Railways for a bridge over the railway lines on the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road,which is crucial,a formal handover of the resettlement colonies to the BMC and clearing of complaints received in the grievance redressal cell by May.”

Bank officials who wrapped up the MUTP review mission made it clear no half-measures would be considered.

“All triggers have to be achieved by April to achieve the robustness in projections,” Josserand reiterated.

The MMRDA is optimistic about achieving the triggers jointly identified by the MMRDA and the World Bank. “The purpose is to complete the project in the specified time. We’ve identified crucial areas and there are management issues which have to be tightened,” said S V R Srinivas,project director for MUTP and Additional Metropolitan Commissioner,MMRDA. He added that professional management would mean a much more specified role of agencies,its responsibilities,etc; the MMRDA is working closely with agencies on the way ahead.

The challenges that remain before the MMRDA are completion of the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road,the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road and the rail component. The rehabilitation of the residents of 13 MHADA buildings in Tilak Nagar has been resolved; now,the residents of three buildings in Netaji Nagar,Chembur,have approached the High Court.

“SCLR is the toughest project with legal complications and rehabilitation issues. The issue of three buildings at Netaji Nagar is sub judice and we expect it to be resolved soon,” said Srinivas.

How the delay has hit costs

Component Original Revised

Railway 3,140 3,778

Road 884 782

Rehab 480 545

Fees 22 22

Total 4,526 5,127

WB loan 2,602 2,313

(in Rs crore)

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