The Union Cabinet cleared Thursday Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro.
The central public investment board had vetted the corridor in April,more than eight months after discussing it,and presented the proposal to the Cabinet for clearance.
U P S Madan,metropolitan commissioner at MMRDA,said,This was the last regulatory approval. We will now prepare for tendering.
MMRDA is aiming to start at least a part of the construction by yearend and has invited bids to appoint a project management consultant. The corridor is expected to be completed by 2019.
The Union Cabinet nod was important to formally secure funds from the central government for the 33.5-km Metro line and sign a loan agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),which has in-principle agreed to fund 56 per cent of the Rs 24,500-crore project.
The Union finance ministrys department of economic affairs will hold a meeting next month with JICA and MMRDA to negotiate loan terms.
Tentatively,JICA has agreed to provide the loan at 1.4 per cent for 30 years. The central and state governments will bear 15 per cent of the project cost each,while the rest would be subordinate debt.
The Metro will have 27 stations connecting business and industrial districts such as Nariman Point,Worli,Dadar,BKC,MIDC and SEEPZ. The daily ridership is expected to be 13.87 lakh by 2025 and 16.99 lakh by 2031.