The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), which is setting up a network of metro lines across the region may end up spending more money due to three times more cost in constructing underground lines, reveals a Right to Information (RTI) reply. The Empowered Committee on Mumbai Transformation in its 43rd meeting has recommended underground line for the remaining metro projects.
According to a reply received by RTI activist Anil Galgali from MMRDA, the construction cost for metro line on elevated pattern would be about Rs250 to Rs300 crore, while the same for underground line would go up by almost three times.
Galgali sought copies of directions issued by the Central or Maharashtra government to undertake construction of metro lines through underground method. Replying to this query, the Public Information Officer (PIO) provided minutes of meeting of the 43rd Empowered Committee, which decided to use underground method instead of elevated for laying metro lines. Taking this into account and the lessons learnt in execution of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro One project and the comparisons between elevated and underground Metro, BC Khatua, Director of Mumbai Transformation Support Unit, in a letter on 26 April 2013 requested the MMRDA to take necessary action and also submit an action taken report in next meeting.
During the 43rd Empowered Committee meeting, MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan, expressed views that, since the streets of Mumbai are very narrow and congested, due to which the Metro one project got delayed and hence in future there is a need to go in for underground Metro rail line, except for some areas in Eastern Mumbai which are less congested. Though underground pattern is very costly, it would save requirements for arranging land, tackling encroachments, traffic woes that lead to constant delay in project execution, and thus raising the cost of projects further due to delays, Madan had stated.
According to information received by Galgali, the first phase of the metro route of Dahisar-Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd, which being started from Dahisar to DN Nagar will cost Rs6,390 crore. Similarly the other route of Andheri east to Dahisar east is slated to cost Rs6,056 crores. The Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ (Andheri), the first underground metro line in Mumbai, will cost Rs23,136 crore.
However, if the same route is constructed using elevated manner, then the cost would come down to Rs11,860 crore (as MMRDA itself stated three times more cost for underground metro lines compared with elevated one), says Galgali.
There are 25 routes proposed for metros in Mumbai metropolitan region. The Transport study in 2008 has proposed a total of 25 routes for metro rail in the whole of MMR region. In this, the Dahisar-Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd, Andheri east to Dahisar east, Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ, Wadala-Ghatkopar-Teen Hath Naka-Kasarwadavali, Wadala-GPO, SEEPZ- Kanjurmarg, Shivdi-Prabhadevi, Jogeshwari-Vikhroli link Rd routes are within Mumbai city limits.
The routes proposed for other parts of MMR are as follows: Bhiwandi-Kalyan, Dahisar-Mira Road-Manikpur - Virar, Thane Ring route metro, Thane-Ghodbundar-Dahisar, Balkum ( Thane)-Bhiwandi-Kalyan-Narthengaon, Pokhran-Kharegaon, Kushavali-Ambernath, Kanjurmarg-Mahape-Kalyan phata-Pipeline, Mankhurd-Vashi-Narthengaon, Vashi-Belapur-New Airport-Panvel, Targhar-Kharkopar-Nhava Sheva-Dongri, Kharkopar-Dhutam-Pirkone- Shirki-Vadkhal, Dongri- Pirkone- Jite, Fort (Horniman circle)-Uran-Dongri, Shevari-Kharkopar.
The cost for the above other projects would be provided once the detailed project report is finalised, the MMRDA informed Galgali in its reply.