Mumbai’s ‘Underground Metro’ works to start from Jan 2015

Mumbai: Construction work on the third phase of Mumbai metro, connecting Colaba in the southern tip of the metropolis to Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) in the suburbs through an underground corridor, is likely to start from January next.

The 32.5-km Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ underground corridor is estimated to cost over Rs.23,000 crore.

Mumbai Metro Rail Corp (MMRC), which is implementing the project, will be inviting tenders by July and contract to the selected bidder would be awarded in October.

“Pre-qualification bids for the first underground metro have evoked good response with all consortiums showing great interest in the project. We feel the detailed tenders can be issued by July and by October we will be awarding the contract,” MMRC Managing Director Sanjay Sethi said in a release.

If everything goes as planned, the construction work may start from January 2015, said Mr Sethi, who is also Additional Metropolitan Commissioner of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

MMRC had received pre-qualification bids from 14 consortiums – Afcons-KMB, CEC-ITDCEM-TPL, CTCEG-PIIPL, Dogus-Soma, IL&FS-CR25G, J Kumar-CRTG, L&T-STEC, Mosmetrostroy-HCC, OHL-SKE&C, Pratibha Industries -GDYT consortium, Sacyr CMC ESSAR, Salin Impregilo-Gammon, STRABAG-AG-Patel and Unity-IVRCL-CTG.

Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) has been roped in for funding. JICA will provide 57 per cent of the total project cost of Rs.23,136 crore as loan.

“The Central and State Governments, through MMRDA, will bear rest of the cost. The Centre will provide 50 per cent of central taxes as sub-debt, while the balance 50 per cent shall be borne by the Maharashtra Government. The state may also get a few exemptions from local taxes,” he said.

Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) will chip in with Rs.777 crore since the metro will pass through their area, Mr Sethi said.

The Colaba-SEEPZ (in Andheri) line will comprise 27 stations. Of this, 26 will be underground and one at Aarey Colony, Goregaon, will be at the ground level.

The corridor is expected to carry 13.9 lakh commuters daily by 2021 and 17 lakh by 2031.