Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lay the foundation stone for two new Metro corridors — the Andheri East to Dahisar East and Dahisar to DN Nagar — that the Maharashtra government is looking to fast track. The PM is scheduled to visit Mumbai on October 4.
The BJP-led government has set an ambitious target of completing the two elevated Metro lines by 2019. The chief minister-led Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) approved detailed project reports for the two lines last month, and the projects are likely to come up soon before the state cabinet for approval.
A senior MMRDA official said the state government had sent a request to the Prime Minister’s Office to include the event in his schedule. “The main purpose of Modi’s visit will be to perform a bhoomipujan for a memorial of Dr BR Ambedkar at Indu Mills, but the government has also requested for the Metro bhoomipujan to be accommodated in the schedule. Although we are still awaiting a formal reply, we are upbeat about it. The main purpose of his visit remains,” he added.
A senior state government official said, “The bhoomipujan for the Metro lines will most likely be held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon,” he said. The 16.5-km Andheri East to Dahisar East line is estimated to cost Rs 4,737 crore. It will boost connectivity from the southern-most tip of the city to the northern-most on the western side, as the Metro is being planned to intersect the proposed Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro.
The 18.6-km Dahisar-DN Nagar Line is pegged at Rs 4,994 crore, and will meet the existing 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro at the DN Nagar Metro station. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will take up one of the two corridors for implementation, and will be a consultant for the other line. This would be the fourth bhoomipujan for the series of Metro projects in Mumbai.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had, in 2006, laid the foundation stone for the city’s first Metro corridor, the elevated 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro line, which was opened for public use only in 2014. In 2009, Pratibha Patil, the then president, performed a bhoomipujan for an elevated 32-km Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro, a project that never took off. Last year, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan conducted a bhoomipujan for a 33.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground Metro, the bids for which are currently being finalised.
Modi will also perform a bhoomipujan for a grand memorial of Dr BR Ambedkar at Indu Mills in Dadar, and address a public gathering in the presence of Republican Party of India (RPI) leaders at a ground near Rang Sharada auditorium in Bandra, the state government official said.