By Zeeshan Shaikh www.hindustantimes.com
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) flip flop on Metro plans in the city continues. After planning for over five years and spending a few crores to draft a plan for constructing a 20km Metro line from Colaba to Bandra, the MMRDA has decided to alter its plans yet again.
This completely underground line will cost a whopping Rs 21,000 cr making it the city’s most expensive Metro project. MMRDA’s plan to build this line was unveiled before the chief minister on Thursday. It will reduce travel time between the two ends from 105 minutes to 60 minutes. It expects to get more commuters for such a project.
“This direct Metro will help provide connectivity from commercial business districts such as Nariman Point, Colaba, Fort and BKC to the airport,” a senior MMRDA official said.
Since 2004, the MMRDA has been modifying the Metro plan recommended by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The DMRC in 2004 had recommended a fully underground line from Colaba to Bandra.
The MMRDA in 2008 decided to change it to a partly underground partly elevated line. This line was to be underground for 10 km from Colaba to Mahalaxmi and then elevated for a 10km stretch from Mahalaxmi till Bandra.
It has also decided to build as many Metro lines underground as possible after citizens protesting against elevated corridors.
The MMRDA officials told the chief minister that they have already begun drafting a revised project report for the line.
It has also sent applications to the Ministry of Urban Development and the Department of Economic Affairs in New Delhi to include this project in the funding scheme of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). MMRDA is keen on building this project on its own by taking a loan from JICA.