The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority on June 3 approved (see press release) the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Mumbai’s 32.32 km Wadala – Kasaradavali line! This entirely elevated line is officially referred to as “line 4” or “Metro 4” in some circles and its DPR was recently revisited and updated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The project is being aimed to be completed by 2021 with a final estimated cost of Rs. 14,549 crore.
As per the press release, the line will consist of 32 stations at:
Bhakti Park Metro, Wadala TT, Anik Nagar Bus Depot, Suman Nagar, Siddharth Colony, Amar Mahal Junction, Garodia Nagar, Pant Nagar , Laxmi Nagar, Shreyas Cinema, Godrej Company, Vikhroli Metro, Surya Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Naval Housing, Bhandup Mahapalika, Bhandup Metro, Shangrila, Sonapur, Mulund Fire Station, Mulund Naka, Teen Haath Naka (Thane), RTO Thane, Mahapalika Marg, Cadbury Junction, Majiwada, Kapurbawdi, Manpada, Tikuji-ni-wadi, Dongri Pada, Vijay Garden, Kasarvadavali – with a 30-hectare car deport at Owale.
The release makes no mention of interchange stations, but I expect the Pant Nagar station to come up close to the Ghatkopar station so that users can switch over to the operational 11.4 km Versova-Ghatkopar line.
Now for some pointers:
• The Chief Minister happens to lead the MMRDA, so some media outlets and twitter handles have incorrectly reported that the state government has approved or sanctioned the project. With the MMRDA’s approval, the project’s DPR is now awaiting the state government’s approval.
• As with all big ticket projects in the city, the MMRDA has never had the vision or ability to execute metro projects on its own. After dilly-dallying for over a decade, the Maharashtra government brought the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on board to assist and get Mumbai’s metro projects started. In December 2015, the DMRC signed an agreement to single-handedly execute the 18.6 km DN Nagar-Dahisar line and act as an interim consultant for the 16.5 km Andheri (east)-Dahisar (east) line. From the onset, the MMRDA’s role & interest in the Wadala – Kasaradavali line’s planning has been minimal and while this approval is encouraging, they just do not have the requisite appetite, skills or motivation to execute it by themselves. For this line to be built, it would have to be handed over to the DMRC or the MMRC.
• No mention of this line’s funding composition has ever been made. The MMRDA is already having a tough time achieving financial closure from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for funding the construction of the DN Nagar-Dahisar & Andheri (east)-Dahisar (east) lines, so how exactly do they plan to fund this?
• In a country where approvals are politically motivated and are strategically given keeping elections in mind, one Member of Parliament from the incumbent party very accurately describes the motivation for approving the project:
Election Promise Wadala Ghatkopar Mulund Thane Metro Sanctioned-निवडणूक वचन वडाळा घाटकोपर मुलुण्ड ठाणे मेट्रो मंजूरी pic.twitter.com/qCdSdrApHK
— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) June 4, 2016
Quick note: Local BMC elections are approaching! I foresee this line to remain an ‘election promise’ for the next few years.
For more updates, check out the Mumbai section of the Metro Rail Guy!