Third Metro line awaits Centre's nod


Ashley D’MelloAshley D’Mello

MUMBAI: The third proposed Metro route from Colaba to Bandra is yet to get the green signal from the Centre mainly because the authorities are embroiled in a tussle on whether the project comes under the state’s purview or the Centre’s.

Officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said the issue has been taken up for discussion several times. “It is becoming clear that the Centre wants a role for the railways in the supervision of Metro in various cities, including Mumbai,” said an MMRDA official.

The Colaba-Bandra Metro line will be partially underground and cost Rs 12,000 crore. However, the project cost may shoot up to Rs 15,000 crore as the state government recently indicated that the entire route may be underground.

The issue of who will control the Metro in the state had first cropped up seven years ago.

As the state government wanted Metro under its control, the project was conceived under the Tramways Act, making it independent of the Indian Railways, which normally controls all railway projects in India.

However, the ministry of urban development has written to several state governments indicating that the railways supervise the safety of projects in their cities. This has raised hackles of state government and officials are now waiting for discussions with central authorities to clarify the issue.