Talks on 3rd metro line today

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By Ashley D’Mello  www.indiatimes.com

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is holding talks for financing the third metro line from Colaba to Bandra with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Tuesday.

MMRDA officials said they were interested in getting the project off the ground and have already commissioned a detailed study of the third metro line which will be fully underground. The study will be done by RITES-the consultancy arm of the Indian Railways.

MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana said the third metro line will need huge funding. The costs have still to be worked out. “We have still to decide how big a loan to take if the talks with JICA are successful,” he said.

The JAICA loans normally have 4 to 5 per cent interest after working out all the details ,” he said and pointed out that they also give grants for surveys for projects.

MMRDA officials pointed out that both JAICA and the World Bank are interested in funding the metro projects third line from Colaba to Bandra which might cost over Rs 12,000 crores.

The third line was initially planned to be underground from Colaba to Mahalaxmi and elevated from Mahalaxmi to Bandra. However, it was later changed to be fully underground.

It may be recalled that citizens groups in Vile Parle and Bandra had demanded an underground section of the Charkop Bandra Mankhurd line from Andheri to Bandra to prevent demolition of houses and shops.

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