Mumbai: The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) is likely complete the Metro-3 corridor (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) by December 2021 instead of early 2021. It has also reduced the length of the phase-1 corridor. MMRC officials have blamed the revision on protracted legal battles over the cutting of trees and a Bombay high court stay on construction at night.
The 33.5-km underground Metro is to be commissioned in two phases.
MMRC has reduced the length of the corridor under phase-1, which was originally planned between the Aarey Milk Colony car depot and Bandra-Kurla Complex. Now, the first phase will connect the car depot to the airport.
“The first phase, which is from the car depot to the airport, will be commissioned by March 2021. And the second phase, which is from the airport to Cuffe Parade, will be operational by December 2021,” said Ashwini Bhide, managing director, MMRC.
The project has faced numerous hurdles owing to opposition and petitions from environmental groups and citizens.
According to MMRC, the project has been facing delays after the Bombay high court’s order against the cutting of trees along the construction site earlier this year.
In addition, the recent stay by the high court disallowing construction work at night had slowed down the work, an official said.
“Our earlier deadline was in 2020, but we lost about six months due to a petition on cutting of trees and the high court stay. So obviously, we have now factored them in,” Bhide added.
MMRC has still not evaluated whether these delays will lead cost escalation.
“We haven’t calculated it because the project period is almost five years. So sometimes there are delays, sometimes we catch up,” Bhide said. The project cost is Rs23,136 crore.
The Metro-3 corridor chalked out by the state government will connect north to south and is expected to take load off the over-burdened suburban rail network.
MMRC claims that the line will reduce daily vehicle trips by 4.5 lakh or 35% and save 2.43 lakh litres of fuel daily in 2021.