Formation of new MMRCL Board to take time, Phase-III construction to start next year

Mumbai:  Although the state has cleared the decks for a new board to construct the Colaba–Bandra–SEEPZ underground metro rail, the new board is yet to be formed, which means construction of the new corridor will commence only sometime next year.

As the approval came from the state cabinet only on February 26, the state is yet to appoint five directors in the financially restructured Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL). MMRCL is a state government undertaking governed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

“But that doesn’t mean that no work will be done in the coming days. A decision on General Consultancy services will be taken sometime between the general and assembly elections,” said UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner of the MMRDA.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has shortlisted four consortia that have bid for consultancy services for the underground metro corridor. These four consortia are led by AECOM Asia (Hong Kong), DB International (Germany), Geodata (Italy) and Oriental Consulting (Japan).

The consortium that will be entrusted with the consultancy will supervise the implementation, beginning from the evaluation of bids for the construction work and proof checking of designs, to environmental management, programme preparation and commissioning the rail corridor.

“Bids for the different types of construction work will be finalised after the assembly elections, by around November this year,” added Madan. Last September, pre-qualification bids were floated to shortlist firms for the design and construction of underground stations and tunnels for the project. This corridor will be Mumbai’s first underground metro with an estimated ridership of 16.99 lakh by 2031.

As per the plan, the project will be completed only in 2020. The estimated project cost for the 33.5km-long underground metro rail between Colaba to SEEPZ via Bandra has been pegged at Rs23,136 crore, which will be shared by the central government, the state government and MMRDA, with a loan from Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), debts from state and central government institutions, the Mumbai International Airport Limited and through taxation on property development.

The construction of the metro line will result in 1,74,632 square meters of land (government and private plots, including 20,000 sq mts of open spaces) being used for the corridor permanently. An additional 19,033 sq mts will be used temporarily, only during the construction phase.