Colaba-Seepz Metro Rail works set to get rolling in 14 months

मुंबई Mumbai: Work on the much-awaited Rs.23136 crore Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground metro corridor in Mumbai is set to take off, little over a year after getting nod from the Centre.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will lay the foundation stone for the project tomorrow, paving the way for commencement of work as the State enters the poll mode.

Chavan will perform the ground-breaking ceremony which will be attended by Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, among others.

The project got moving in just 14 months – unusual for a city where project delays are the norm – after being approved by the Centre on June 27, 2013. The iconic Bandra-Worli SeaLink got completed, that too partially, in 23 years.

The government had scrapped the second metro line for the city – between Charkop and Mankhurd – following a dispute over a right of way for a metro depot.

The government signed a loan agreement with the Japanese funding agency JICA on September 17, 2013 and it was notified under the Metro Act by the Centre the next day. The project is likely to be completed by FY’20.

The ceremony will be conducted near the Marol fire station in the northern fringe of the megapolis.

The State has tied up with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for funding through MMRDA, the development body for Mumbai and adjoining areas. JICA, which will be funding 57 per cent of the total project cost of Rs 23,136 crore, will provide a loan worth Rs 13,235 crore.

The Centre and the State will bear the rest of the cost. Further, Rs 777 crore will be borne by the Mumbai International Airport, since the metro will pass through the areas under its control.

Mumbai Metro Rail Corp (MMRC) had in June invited expressions of interest from consultants for implementation of the 32.5km corridor, including testing and commissioning.

MMRC had earlier received pre-qualification bids from 14 consortia for the project, which will connect South Mumbai to western suburbs, to be developed on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.

The Colaba-Seepz line will have 27 stations – 26 underground and one at Aarey Colony, Goregaon, overground. The corridor is expected to carry 13.9 lakh commuters daily by 2021 and 17 lakh by 2031.