By Zeeshan Shaikh www.hindustantimes.com
The delay in completing work on the Metro line is not only affecting Mumbaiites, but is also burning a hole in the pockets of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
The planning authority had to handover 25,000 sqm plot at Wadala to Lodha Builders and receive Rs200 crore thisyear, but delay in handing over the plot of land has further delayed disbursal of payment to the cash-strapped agency.
The planning authority has a cash balance of Rs9,000 crore, but it also has infrastructure projects worth more than Rs2 lakh crore, which are pending.
However, due to delay in construction of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro line, the planning authority is not likely to receive any payment for the plot any time soon.
As per the agreement between the Lodha Group which had bought the land and MMRDA the builder was to hand over the Rs4,050 crore along with interest of Rs989 crore in five installments to the MMRDA.
The builder has so far paid Rs405 crore to the planning agency.
However, subsequent payment of Rs227.5 crore is still pending as the planning agency has not yet handed over the plot to the builder.
“We will be getting the plot by the end of this year and will hand it over to the builder,” metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said.
The MMRDA and Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd claim that civil work of the Metro will be complete by November. However, it is difficult for the project to meet that deadline and could spill over to 2012.
That means the planning agency will not be in a position to hand over the plot even by the end of next year and lose out on further money.
The plot is presently being used as a casting yard for Metro work. The yard is loaded with heavy machinery, which churns out girders and pile caps weighing between 180 and 230 tonnes.