The state government has drafted a new Metro rail master plan for Mumbai, which envisages six more lines and a total investment of about Rs 64,000 crore to achieve its target of rolling out a Metro network of over 130 km by 2020.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently announced that the state government would ensure a Metro network to connect the entire city with assistance from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is headed by the chief minister, has drafted a plan for four new lines, adding 60 km. Two other lines are already on the cards — the 33.5 km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground Metro and the 32 km Thane-Wadala-Kasarvadavali Metro. The 11.4-km Metro corridor from Versova to Ghatkopar has been operational since 2014.
UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said, “In the four new lines itself, we will add 60 km of Metro network in the city. With two other planned corridors and the first line that is operational we will be able to meet the target.” The previous Congress-NCP government had also drafted a Metro rail master plan for Mumbai over a decade ago envisaging a 146.5-km Metro network by 2021. However, while the plan was altered several times, the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar elevated Metro was the only line from the plan to be taken up and completed.
The four new lines that BJP-led government has now planned are Andheri East to Dahisar East, Andheri West to Dahisar West, Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) to Kanjur Marg, and Bandra Kurla Complex to Mankhurd. All four lines are for now proposed to be elevated corridors costing about Rs 350 crore per km. Together, the four new Metro projects will cost of about Rs 21,000 crore. These will be constructed as cash contracts, but the government is yet to finalise sources for the funding. The Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground line, for which the tendering process is already underway, will cost Rs 23,136 crore, while the Thane-Wadala-Kasarvadavali Metro, which is currently planned as a partially underground corridor, will cost about Rs 20,000 crore. The state government may, however, consider constructing the latter on an elevated stretch, substantially reducing its cost. Another Metro that was being planned for more than six years in different forms, the 40-km Dahisar-Bandra-Mankhurd line, has been dropped and will now be executed in three parts instead — Dahisar-Andheri, Andheri-Bandra, Bandra-Mankhurd. While the first and the third portions are parts of the new Metro master plan, the middle section from Andheri to Bandra is currently on hold. “We are still considering if the Andheri-Bandra Kurla Complex line should be taken up.
All Metro corridors will intersect at certain points for commuters to easily change lines,” Madan said. The DMRC will give a presentation to the chief minister about the feasibility, estimated ridership, and construction methodology, for the four new lines on June 17, and will aid in preparing a detailed project report.