MUMBAI (Metro Rail News): The cost of Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Line (Line-3) of Mumbai Metro has escalated by over INR 10,000 Crores to INR 33,406 Crores in 2021 from its original estimate of INR 23,136 Crores in 2016.
The cost escalation for the 33.5 km long underground metro corridor is mainly attributed to construction of the tunnel, stations and car depot. It was earlier estimated at INR 10,708 Crores, but the now the cost is escalated to INR 18,711 Crores. The land acquisition cost has also increased drastically for this corridor to INR 1,483 Crores which was earlier fixed at INR 590 Crores.
Other reasons include the difference Mumbai and Delhi’s terrain. According to an official, “The original project cost was based on the terrain of the Delhi metro. It was later found that Mumbai has a different terrain.”
As per the economic survey of Maharashtra of March this year, till October 2020, the state has spent 70% (INR 15,910 Crores) of the total expenditure of the nine projects of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) on Mumbai Metro Line-3.
The escalation proposal which was sent in February this year by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to the state finance department has been put on hold due to the uncertainty this metro line faces after the Bombay High Court, in December last year, stayed the decision to hand over the Kanjurmarg land for the car shed. “Since then, there has been virtually no initiative on the part of state agencies to vacate the stay,” a source said.
As per a government official, “There is a perception that no further cost should be approved till the controversy over the location of the car shed is resolved.”
According to reports, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which is funding almost 60% of the total project cost, has not released funds for this metro line for the past year. “It is not JICA’s fault. The agency is waiting for the cost escalation approvals by the state and Centre,” an official said.
In February, MMRDA also filed an application seeking that the stay order be vacated as a “public project was being gravely affected.”
“After filing the application, the MMRDA has done little to push the case in the court for an early hearing,” an official said.
According to a nine member government panel headed by the then chief secretary Sanjay Kumar, an integrated metro depot at Kanjurmarg will result saving in land and construction cost amounting to INR 1580 Crores and metro car shed at Kanjurmarg can accommodate 55 rakes in comparsion to only 30 rakes at Aarey.
As per panel report the 41 hectare plot at Kanjurmarg is big enough to be an integrated depot for Mumbai Metro Line-3, 4 and 6. Hope the issue get resolved at the earliest so that construction of depot finally kicks off which is imperative for Line-3 before its operation starts.