Thanks to my twitter follower – Sambit Nayak for bringing this news to my attention as soon as it was announced!
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, in a meeting with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on August 26 sanctioned the expenditure of Rs 35,400 crore for the development of 4 lines totaling 118 km. This is in addition to Line 3 (Colaba-SEEPZ) which is currently in the tendering stage.
After the meeting with the MMRDA, Devendra Fadnavis’ twitter account tweeted these out:
The four lines sanctioned are:
Line 2: Dahisar – Charkop – Bandra – Mankhurd (Rs.12,000 crore)
Line 4: Wadala – Ghatkopar – Thane – Kasarvadavali (Rs.12,000 crore)
Line 5: Dahisar (E) – Andheri (E) – Bandra (E) (Rs.8,100 crore)
Line 6: Jogeshwari – Vikhroli (Rs.3,300 crore)
I’ve drawn these lines in the map below:
The MMRDA also accepted the Detailed Project Reports (DPR) from the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) for 2 sections of Line 2 and 5. This includes the 18.6 km Dahisar – DN Nagar section of Line 2 at a cost of Rs 4,994 crores and the 16.5 km Dahisar (E) to Andheri (E) section of Line 5 at a cost of Rs 4,737. The MMRDA has recommended these 2 sections to the state government for their approval and for seeking funds from foreign lenders to finance its construction. The MMRDA is expected to meet the DMRC on Friday to fast-track & discuss handing over the execution of one of these sections to them.
What’s worrying to me is that these lines have all been approved as elevated corridors. This is in stark contrast to what was earlier announced. Looking at slow execution of Line 1 (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar), it was earlier decided that Line 2 through the western suburbs would be built underground at a cost of Rs. 25,605.50 cr. The MMRDA’s website also states the same. However, looking at the meagre Rs 12,000 crore sanctioned, it seems like they’ve reverted back to building an elevated line. Let’s see how that goes down with the locals! Similarly, the MMRDA’s website for Line 4 states that a 5 km section is supposed to be underground, but nothing to suggest this underground component has been announced.
While I consider the outcome of this meeting as positive, I do believe it’s more of a positive news infuser done to generate news bites (and posts like this). The MMRDA has no experience in executing Metro lines and has only been announcing their grand plans to the media for the last 10 years or so. The only good outcome I see is their upcoming meeting with the DMRC who will execute one of the sections. For the rest of the Metro lines, the MMRDA needs to deeply consider what the local people want, how much money they have and how much money they can potentially lend. Without taking all of these parameters into account, such announcements are worthless. It’s high time they start executing.
For more updates on the Mumbai Metro, check out the Mumbai section of the TMRG!