Mumbai Metro- Latest status

Centre will assist state in planning Metros second leg


Its a decision that could cut short your long wait for a comfy ride on the Metro.Frowning over the inordinate delay in implementing the first phase of the Metro project (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar ),the Centre will now put in an equal amount of money as the state,instead of banking on a joint partnership of the public and private sectors,as is presently the case.
Union Minister for Urban Development,Kamal Nath,made this announcement in Delhi on Sunday.

So,pending Metro projects for your bustling metropolis could have a 50:50 funding by the state and central governments.

The first phase of the Metro is a partnership venture of a private company formed between nodal development agency,Mumbai Metropolitan Road Development Agency (MMRDA),and the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Company.
This private company has been claiming that 80 per cent of work is complete.However,the reply to a Right To Information (RTI) query has revealed that only 60 per cent of work has completed so far.The company has been saying that the first line,Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar,will start functioning soon,but the information sought by the RTI shows that this is unlikely.

The bigger problem that emerged is that the company has not been able to plan the second line of the metro,the Charkop-Bandra-mankhurd line.There is much confusion over whether it should be underground or elevated,and it is unclear whether the company has sufficient funds.A senior MMRDA official said,The second line is very complicated,and seems to have a lot of technical problems.

Kamal Nath said the main reason there are so many problems with the project is that there are too many private players involved.Thus the central government has decided that the second line will progress like the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation did,with the help of the Centre.It has already instructed the state government to make a Detailed Project Report (DPR).
The work was supposed to be finished before March 2012,as per the agreement, said Anil Galgali,who filed the RTI and then filed a complaint with the minister.However,the work has been delayed and there has been a huge escalation in costs,and the MMRDA has not given any explanation for this.

The RTI filed shows that the total cost of the project is Rs 2356 crore.MMRDA holds 26 per cent stocks and Reliance holds the rest.The viability gap for the project is about Rs 650 crore,of which the central government will bear Rs 471 crore,and the state government and MMRDA will have to take care of the rest.
source : Mumbai Mirror

Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro to be commissioned by Nov 2012

Press Trust of India, Updated: November 09, 2011 14:33 IST

Mumbai:  The first Metro line being constructed on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route will be commissioned by November, 2012.

The first phase of mono rail stretching from Chembur to Wadala should start operation by August 2012, Textile minister Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan, who is the Guardian Minister of Mumbai suburbs said at a review meeting of MMRDA officials on Tuesday.

The minister reviewed the deadlines of various important infrastructure projects and asked the MMRDA to stick to the deadlines.

The minister directed the authorities to expedite the Mumbai Trans Habour Link, Mumbai Urban Transport Project on war footing. “If there are issues concerning rehabilitation, they should be sorted out with discussions with the local people,” he said.

Read more at:

 Mumbai citizens to protest Metro construction’s slow progress

Published: Saturday, Nov 5, 2011, 1:01 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The delay in the completion of the city’s most awaited and ambitious Metro Railway project has irked the suburban population of Mumbai. People living in the areas of construction are all set to register their protest against the authorities at three different places on Saturday from 12pm to 6pm.The construction, which was supposed to conclude by the end of 2011, is far from being completed. “There are approximately 30 lakh people residing in the areas of Varsova, Vira Desai, Andheri, SEEPZ, Sakinaka and Ghatkopar. There are commercial complexes, airport and a number of industries which make these a high traffic area. The metro rail work, which is progressing at snail’s pace has added to the misery of the commuters as well as the residents in the area,” said Shailendra Kamble, secretary, Eastern Suburbs Tehsil committee of Communist Party of India (Marxist). He added that, along with traffic jams the residents are also facing problems related to water, electricity and telephone services.”The air pollution due to continuous construction activity is another problem. There are heaps of soil, iron rods, machines, barricades etc blocking the road, putting people’s lives in danger,” added Kamble. The leftist party along with Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), has planned demonstrations today at three places, namely Marol Naka, Saki Naka junction and Andheri(W) near Singar hotel, demanding that the construction speed up.

DYFI had initiated a movement few years ago, demanding the quadrupling of railway lines between Borivli and Virar, a demand that was fulfilled after continuous struggle. Now the organisation is planning to launch a similar mass movement in the western suburbs for the Metro Railway project.

“We are not against the project, but the clash between BMC and MMRDA is slowing the work down and citizens are losing their patience,” he said.

 MMRDA may drop Metro from project

Kavitha Iyer

Posted: Sat Nov 12 2011, 01:30 hrs Mumbai:

When bids are invited from qualified private players for the 22-km Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link before the year-end, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) intends to leave out the proposed Metro Rail along the bridge from the scope of the contract.

While the original plan was to make provision for two Metro Railway lines alongside the six-lane high speed bridge connecting Sewri in the mainland to Nhava across the harbour, officials have now decided that even civil works for the mass transit system alongside will not be undertaken as part of the current project. For one, this will bring the total cost of the project down from the earlier estimates of Rs 12,000 crore. Also, as the proposed Metro Rail route is designed to be built further into the heart of Central Mumbai from Sewri, officials believe it could be many years before that project actually takes off.

Confirming that the Request for Qualification (RFQ) document will not make mention of even civil works for the Metro Rail alongside the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), Metropolitan Commissioner Rahul Asthana said the Metro could be several years away. “It is to be built underground from Sewri to Prabhadevi,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to make investments right now when that Metro Rail route is to be built after many years.”

The Prabhadevi-Sewri underground section of the proposed Metro Rail route is expected to face several hurdles, as the route passes through congested parts of Central Mumbai.

The RFQ advertisements, given the nod by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and awaiting a final go-ahead form the Centre, will only be for the six-lane highway.

Keeping the project cost low has been a priority for the MMRDA, as it is keen to obtain Viability Gap Funding from the Centre.

The bids are to be structured in a way so as to keep total costs low including, for example, keeping the construction of interchanges out of the bids. VGF can be no more than 40 per cent of the total cost, as per the norms set by the Central government.

Meanwhile, the MMRDA is also set to use funds from the World Bank to process soft loans for the concessionaire that is selected to build the bridge. While VGF will account for 40 per cent of the total cost – 20 per cent to be paid by the Centre and an equal share by the MMRDA – another 20 per cent is expected to be a soft loan.

Though the MMRDA has the funds to hand out the loans from its own coffers, officials expect to be able to obtain cheaper loans from the World Bank and pass them on to the winning consortium, making a profit of about one per cent in the process while its own funds remain available for other projects.

Maha to invest upto USD 60 bn to upgrade Mumbai region infra

PTI | 07:11 PM,Nov 10,2011

Mumbai, Nov 10 (PTI) Maharashtra would be investing up to USD 60 billion for infrastructure upgradation in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region over the next two decades. The first phase (costing Rs 1,10,000 crore) will be completed by 2016, the second by 2021, and the last phase by 2031, state Chief Secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad said here today. The infrastructure in Mumbai, often criticised as grossly insufficient for the population of over 1.3 crore, will receive a boost due to the investment, he said. The projects would be financed by the government as well through the public-private-partnership route. “Forty percent of the money will come from PPPs and the rest from inter-governmental transfers,” Gaikwad said. Projects to be undertaken under the USD 60 billion plan are spread over the transport, water supply, solid waste management, power, and tourism sectors, he said. Finances of around Rs 43,000 crore have already been tied-up, while projects worth Rs 10,000 crore, including the Mumbai metro and monorail project, have already started, he said. Gaikwad exuded confidence that funds would be raised, and said that in 70 per cent of the projects that are underway, the investment was through PPP route. Mumbai Trans-Harbour Sea Link (which will connect Sewri and Nhava Sheva port) and the Navi Mumbai airport are a part of this three-phase programme, Gaikwad said. PTI AA AP KRK


Western railway paves way for Metro at Andheri

Published: Monday, Oct 31, 2011, 8:00 IST
By Rajendra Aklekar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Western Railway (WR) has finally begun work to create paths required for the Mumbai Metro Railway trains to pass over its lines at Andheri. It has invited proposals to shift the overhead electric equipment, foot overbridge and other railway paraphernalia to make way for the Metro rail bridge.The phase I of the Mumbai Metro between Versova-Andheri and Ghatkopar intersects WR’s network near Andheri station.While talks are still on between the Mumbai Metro Railway and the WR authorities for provision of traffic blocks for local trains, the latter has begun work on its premises to ensure that there are no further delays.

“Among the major works that the railways have planned to take up include dismantling of existing overhead structures and relocating them so that the alignment over which the Metro lines pass will be clear of them,’’ a senior official said.

“The other major work involves dismantling, demolition and shifting of the BMC foot overbridge in the north side of the station. The out-to-out bridge will have to be rebuilt at a new location.’’

This work is scheduled to be completed within two to eight months from the time it begins. By the end of the period, it is expected that the logjam between WR and Mumbai Metro will get solved. While the railways are ready to give a block, Metro authorities are seeking more time. The MMRDA has said it has requested the railways to provide for a five-hour block every week. They reportedly want at least 30 such blocks.

The railways said it would be difficult to make it five hours as there are more than 32 lakh passengers using the WR network every day for suburban trains.

At least one-year wait for metro

Zeeshan Shaikh, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 21, 2011

Mumbai’s wait for metro rail seems to be never ending. In February 2008, the residents were promised that the city’s first air-conditioned urban transport system would be functional in 30 months. But, 44 months and six metro lines —five in Delhi and one in Bangalore — later, the promise remains


The delay in the 11.07-km metro line project, estimated to cost Rs 2,356 crore, can be attributed to bad planning, conflict with the railways, congested roads and opposition from citizens’ groups. “The commercial operations on the metro line would be possible by November 2012, provided all statutory clearances are received,” the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) told the state  at its meeting in September.

Admitting that they need to set a realistic deadline, an official from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), said: “In Bangalore, a 7.5-km stretch on relatively less congested roads was constructed in 54 months. In Mumbai, we will be completing a 11.07-km line on a busy stretch in 57 months.” Rahul Asthana, metropolitan commissioner, said: “It is a first-of-its-kind project in the city. It has been a learning curve for all of us. We can promise that by the last quarter of 2012, Mumbaiites will be riding in the metro rail.”

The MMOPL has, so far, missed five deadlines for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro, work on which began in 2008. As per the terms of the agreement, the construction work should have been completed by March 2011.  But the failure of the state and the MMOPL in seeking permission to build a bridge over Andheri railway station has delayed the project.

Ratnakar Gaikwad, chief secretary of the state, has asked the MMOPL to expedite the work so that the metro can be opened to the public by August 2012. There are also talks of opening the metro partially, before August.

As Namma Metro rolls out, where’s Aamchi Metro?

Published: Thursday, Oct 20, 2011, 9:15 IST
By DNA | Agency: DNA

This is the question every Mumbaikar must be asking as Bangalore welcomes its Namma Metro today. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the Mumbai Metro on June 21, 2006. Three days later, he was in Bangalore, laying the foundation stone for the metro there. But while Bangalore becomes the third Indian city after Kolkata and New Delhi to have a metro, Mumbaikars continue to wait.From permission problems with the railways for crossing over the suburban lines at Andheri to land-acquisition woes, Mumbai’s first metro line between Versova and Ghatkopar has seen deadline after deadline go by without being met. While ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan has predicted that the line will prove to be a financial disaster, top state officials agree in private that selecting this particular alignment (with the maximum impediments) for Mumbai’s first metro was a big blunder by the city’s planners.Mumbaikars want answers now. They are sick and tired of hearing every resident and visiting politician say that ‘Mumbai will get world-class infrastructure’. Officials and planners will always have reasons for the delays. Arguments like ‘road conditions and impediments in Bangalore are very different from those in Mumbai’, or that ‘it will be unfair to compare Mumbai and Bangalore as the latter is a planned city’ are certain to be thrown at us. But Mumbaikars are in no mood for such excuses.

Finally, Sreedharan, whose Delhi Metro Rail Corporation designed the Mumbai and Bangalore metros, has always criticised the public-private partnership model for the metro. And guess which city was the first to implement this model? Mumbai!


Metro first line hinges on Andheri bridge

Chittaranjan Tembhekar, TNN Oct 11, 2011, 05.34AM IST

The construction of a metro rail bridge above the existing Western Railway tracks near Andheri station , which sees huge train traffic daily, will decide when Mumbai’s first metro line between Versova and Ghatkopar can be opened to public. Oddly , while the metro rail project is expected to be complete by August 2012, the tentative deadline for the Andheri rail bridge is set one month later – that is, September 2012.

The Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL), which is led by Reliance Infrastructure as well as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), is eyeing test runs of the metro on the three-kilometer stretch between Versova and Azad Nagar stations by March 2012. Similarly , the entire project work has now been scheduled to be complete by August 2012, after the civil work for the viaduct and station is over by May 2012.

“But for all of us working on this project, the railway bridge is going to be a very critical issue. It will decide when we will be able to commission the city’s first metro railway. We have invited experts from abroad to suggest different methods to complete this bridge in record time of two to three months, without disturbing suburban rail traffic. We are working on it now,” said Rahul Asthana, MMRDA commissioner.

On the 12-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line, more than 5,000 labourers, engineers and other staff are working day and night in three shifts to achieve the targets. According to Asthana, the 183-meter railway bridge will be built segment by segment, which means, each will be laid between the three main pillars of the bridge during two hours of train blockage late in the night. “We are getting one and a half hours to two hours to put up the segments everyday.

Considering this time, we will be able to place only two to three segments every day, which means a minimum of 10 months for construction . The railways have been very helpful in getting more hours of train blocks, but it is still a challenge to complete the work within the set deadline ,” said Asthana.

MMOPL sources said that one of the three pillars along the railway tracks has come up and the other two are remaining . “The most crucial would be the one which is right in the middle of the railway tracks. Working on it when the traffic is live will be a big challenge,” said Asthana.

However, he said experts from abroad will study the bridge and help us fasten the segment-laying work so that it could be finished within two to three months without disturbing the traffic. “We are meeting in the next couple of weeks to decide whether any quick method can be evolved. Certainly then, we will be able to set the deadline for the bridge as well as the entire project,” Asthana said. He, however, remains confident that the trial run of the metro between Versova and Azad Nagar stations will be carried out by March 2012.

State seeks central aid for major infra projects

Express news service

Posted: Sun Oct 02 2011, 02:28 hrs Mumbai:

The state government has asked the Centre to identify major infrastructure projects in Mumbai as “national projects” and assist it in raising up to 90 per cent of funds needed so that it can rule out the participation of private parties in such projects.

A special meeting was held between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to discuss issues for the development of the state with special focus on the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Chavan emphasised the need for special attention to public transport, housing and water supply in MMR.

Chavan sought an assistance of Rs 1.38 lakh crore during his interaction with the Prime Minister. Of this, Rs 58,000 crore will be for Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), Mumbai Metro Line, Coastal road, Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) and Multi-Modal Corridor (MMC) between Alibaug and Virar. The proposals for tagging these projects as national projects was discussed and these will be put forth at the meeting of the 12th Planning Commission on October 15-16.

”We have to think big. We want an approval for the concept, wherein the central government will give 90 per cent funds,” said Chavan.

Officials said difficulties in getting bidders for MTHL, doubts over land acquisition for NMIA and interest of private players in Metro line 3 were reasons for the government seeking aid from the Centre.

With civic polls in Mumbai nearing, the government is making efforts to ensure that projects make some headway. Chavan cited the example of the Ghosikhurd irrigation project which, upon being declared as a national project, is entitled to receive 90 per cent funding from the Centre.

“The state government can provide for the remaining 10 per cent funds. There will be no role for private agencies in the construction of these installations. Later, it will depend on the state government to give the projects for operational purposes to agencies,” an official said.

A presentation on coastal roads was made to the Prime Minister, in which the technical and financial aspects of the construction were highlighted.

Fund Rs 50k crore infra projects, Maharashtra tells PM

Sandeep Ashar & Ashley D’Mello, TNN | Oct 2, 2011, 02.10AM IST

MUMBAI: With elections to the BMC around the corner, the Prithviraj Chavan-led government on Saturday came up with a new plan to sell ‘brand Mumbai’ to the Centre. It told PM Manmohan Singh that four projects that could promote Mumbai’s image as an international city should be declared “projects of national importance”. Worth Rs 50,000 crore, they have the potential to transform the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

If tagged nationally important, the state can seek 90% of the projects’ cost from the Centre. Currently, only irrigation projects are eligible for the label. Chavan feels it should be extended to vital infrastructure projects in the nation’s financial capital, like the Sewri-Nhava Trans-Harbour Link (Rs 10,000 crore), the Navi Mumbai Airport (Rs 14,000 crore), the Colaba-Bandra Metro (Rs16,000 crore) and the Virar-Alibaug Multi-Modal Corridor (Rs 10,000 crore).

The state feels the funding of these projects is beyond the capacity of the state government.

Saying he understood the “special needs” of the metropolitan region, Singh assured support. He asked the state to make a detailed presentation of the ‘national tag’ concept and the projects for the Planning Commission and the National Development Council.

Singh was in the city to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of the Shipping Corporation of India and the state made three presentations to him at the airport before he flew off to Pune.

State officials argued that these projects would not benefit Mumbai alone, but the entire country. They said development in cities and towns around Mumbai as well as the hinterland would get a boost. The projects would essentially improve connectivity within and around Mumbai.

The state also wants the “national project” tag for the Pinjal-Damanganga River Linking project, a multi-crore project for the sharing of two rivers between Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Officials said these projects were difficult to implement under Public Private Partnership (PPP) for various reasons. Attempts to set up the trans-harbour link under PPP failed. Even the Rs 16,000-crore underground Metro is considered difficult to implement under PPP. As per a project feasibility report, the government would have to pay 60% of the cost as Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under PPP. At present, even the Centre does not provide VGF assistance of over 40%. This means the state would have to provide Rs 9,600 crore for the exercise. Officials said there was also a feeling that such expensive projects were better suited for tendering.

With the Centre set to pass the new land acquisition bill, which proposes that compensation to landowners be increased to six times the market value of the plot, officials said the development of the new airport and the multi-modal corridor were difficult under PPP.

Chavan also asked Singh to consider setting aside a dedicated allocation for Mumbai and other mega cities in the proposed new version of the National Urban Renewal Mission. A request to relax the VGF norm of 40% was also made.

Chavan also demanded special dispensation for housing in Mumbai. The Centre was asked to make available centrally owned lands for implementation of the slum-free agenda and infrastructure projects.

Sources said the Congress was presenting a “development-oriented” face ahead of the civic elections. During the PM’s last visit, the demand to declare certain projects as being of national importance was also made, an official said.

Panvel-Mankhurd metro line needs Central aid

Zeeshan Shaikh, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, September 30, 2011

The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) has begun ground work for improving connectivity between the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai. The development body has now sought central assistance for building a 30-km metro line, from Panvel to Mankhurd,

which will run via the proposed airport. This line is expected to connect with Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s under construction Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd metro network.

“This Panvel-Mankhurd metro line will considerably ease travel woes of those passengers travelling from the airport and Panvel to the western parts of city, thereby serving a major catchment area of traffic. The project will cost more than Rs8,000 crore and we will require support from the Centre for this project,” a senior Cidco official said.

If the project gets the requisite financial aid from the Centre, residents from areas such as Borivli and Ghatkopar will be able to enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free ride in the metro straight till Panvel.

The work for metro’s phase I (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar) and phase II (Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd) is currently under progress. However, the planning authority plans are restricted till Mankhurd.

Cidco too had floated plans of building a nine-route metro network but work on it was restricted till Vashi creek.

“There is still no clarity on who should build this connecting stretch of metro. We have asked the Centre to help us start the project,” the official said.

Cidco has been building the metro lines with its own financial resources and not on a public-private partnership basis unlike the planning authority.

3 km of Metro Phase I to be ready by March 2012

Zeeshan Shaikh, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, September 22, 2011

First it was December 2010, then June 2011 and now the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) claims that Mumbaiites will be able to ride in the metro in March 2012. It comes with a rider though. Only 3 km of the 11.07-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro line is expected to be complete

by March next year.

“We target to achieve commercial operation date of the Versova-Azad Nagar section by March or April 2012, depending upon the receipt of all statutory clearances,” said a senior MMOPL official recently.

MMOPL officials have claimed that the trial run on the Versova, DN Nagar and Azad Nagar stretch is expected to start by February and if all goes as planned, this stretch will be thrown open to commuters by March or April.

Actual physical work on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar stretch began in February 2008 and was expected to be completed within three years. The MMRDA had earlier claimed that work will be completed by December 2010. But delays in seeking clearances from authorities only extended the deadline.

There has been increasing pressure on the state government and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to complete work on this stretch at the earliest; ongoing work has worsened traffic situation.

A beleaguered  state government has been pressurising MMOPL to show some results before the upcoming civic elections, which will be of immense help to the ruling party as far as infrastructure development in the city is concerned.

Chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad had given explicit directions to MMOPL and MMRDA last week asking them to complete work on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro line by May 2012. “All civil work should be completed by 2012 and public should be able to use the Metro by August 2012,” Gaikwad said.

Saki Naka traffic to stay off-track until Metro reaches destination

Chittaranjan Tembhekar, TNN Sep 21, 2011, 05.30am IST

The ongoing Metro work is inconveniencing many in the city but among those affected the most are the motorists who have to navigate Saki Naki junction daily. During peak traffic hours, it can take anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes to cross the signal, making it perhaps Mumbai’s most painful intersection . During the rest of the day too, it is by no means a cakewalk.

An important gateway between western and eastern suburbs, Saki Naki junction receives 9,000 vehicles in one hour during peak time from Andheri, Ghatkopar, JVLR and Kurla. Every day, streams of vehicles get stuck at the intersection , partly due to its narrowness and partly because of the construction of Metro-I , which runs through the junction . What does not help is the potholed surface of the intersection and of the roads leading to it.

Traffic police and experts say the Saki Naka problem can be considerably eased if the authorities implement a clutch of small and big changes, such as widening of roads and creation of bypasses.

But to begin with, they suggest the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) be asked to finish at least the Metro civic work around the junction at the earliest so that the obstructions on the stretch can be removed and traffic flow improved. “Once Metro barricades are removed and the intersection re-carpeted , half the problem will be solved,” says Mirza Baig, assistant commissioner of police (traffic).

To help the flow of vehicles, a nullah on the west-east side of Madhuradas Vasanji Road, or Asalfa Road, is being covered to widen the stretch. The project started two years ago and is expected to finish latest by 2012. Also, once the Metro work is over next year, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority says it will undertake the expansion of Asalfa Road till Ghatkopar.

According to the traffic police, it would also help if a private weighbridge on 90 Feet Road south of the junction were asked to relocate. Currently, a number of heavy vehicles end up at the intersection after using the weighbridge . “It is ultimately these trucks that cause jams during peak traffic hours,” said an officer.

MMRDA chief plans to review Monorail plan

Ashley D’Mello, TNN Sep 20, 2011, 02.40am IST

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) seems to be doing a rethink on the monorail project. MMRDA chief Rahul Asthana said that the state agency’s priority will be the Metro rail project and they will discuss the issue of the monorail after the first line is completed in the light of it being a mass rapid transport project.

We will discuss the issue in detail before we take a decision on the other lines planned for the monorail project,” he said and added that they were not thinking of any change in the monorail master plan just now.

MMRDA officials pointed out that the first monorail project is coming up from Chembur -Wadala-Jacob circle, the first leg will be from Chembur to Wadala. The 20 km long line slated to cost Rs 2500 crores has encountered many hurdles in its path including accidents which have claimed lives.

The master plan for the monorail entails several lines in the city as well as a line which connects Thane, Kalyan Bhiwandi.

Transport experts has earlier pointed out that the monorail capacity was 20,000 persons per hour in either direction while the capacity of the metro was 70,000 to 80,000 in either direction. Clearly emphasizing the importance of the metro is the need of the hour.


Maha to prepare financial plan for infra projects

PTI | 11:09 PM,Sep 16,2011

Mumbai, Sep 16 (PTI) In a bid to assess the fund requirements for infrastructure development of Mumbai and the rest of the metropolitan region, the Maharashtra government has decided to frame a detailed financial plan. “We are planning to set up a plan which considers the fund requirements for all our current and future infrastructure,” State Chief Secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad told reporters after a meeting held at Mantralaya here today to review the progress of various infrastructure develepment projects.

The plan will include a survey of each project, the finances required for the same and different sources through which funds can be generated. “The plan will mainly assess the amount of money needed for several infrastructure projects and the ways to generate the same,” he said. Earlier, during the meeting, Gaikwad instructed the officials to finish all the on-going infrastructure projects by September 2012.

“The phase I for the Mumbai monorail between Chembur and Wadala should be completed and commissioned by May next year. Similarly, the entire 32 km route of monorail from Chembur to Byculla (Jacob Circle) has to be completed by December 2012,” he said. Gaikwad has set a deadline of May 2012 for completion of civil work and construction of all the metro stations. “By August 2012, Mumbaikars should be able to use the metro line from Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri,” Gaikwad told his officials.


Versova-Ghatkopar Metro may kick off, but partially

Published: Friday, Sep 16, 2011, 9:00 IST
By Ninad Siddhaye | Place: Mumbai

In all likelihood, Mumbai’s first metro route running between Versova and Ghatkopar via Andheri will be opened partially due to issues related to Right Of Way. The Reliance Infrastructure led consortium (Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd or MMOPL) has made it clear in a presentation, which will be shown to chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad on Friday.Gaikwad will review the infrastructure projects undertaken by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and the progress of the metro rail corridor.In the presentation, the consortium has claimed that the metro will have to be commissioned partially. “The Versova to Azad Nagar stretch is shaping up well and we can start the test run by February 2012. If all permissions are obtained by MMRDA on time, we can commission this stretch by March or April 2012. This will be subject to technical clearances, which is MMRDA’s responsibility,” the presentation stated.

Sources revealed that the MMOPL has come out with a number of pending issues, which are responsible for the delays in commencing the 11 km metro corridor.

The car depot in DN Nagar is a issue, which MMRDA needs to take care of. Among these, is an eight-metre road, which belongs to a private developer. Moreover, some portion of civic land and shifting of a 110 kv transmission line of Tata Electrical Company is a problem. In Asalfa, the Maheshwar temple issue has to be sorted out. Open setbacks of Azad Nagar, Versova and Ghatkopar metro stations are yet to be resolved.

The consortium got its first train from CSR Nanjing, China. While final touches for the second train are in on, six trains are being tested, six others are being assembled and bodies of two trains are being built, according to the presentation.



5 Sep, 2011, 06.46PM IST, IANS

Metro Rail-I to be operational in Mumbai in 2012

MUMBAI: More than 80 percent of civil work on Mumbai’s Rs.2,356 crore Metro Rail-I project, expected to be operational sometime in 2012, is complete, an official said here Monday.

The mega-project — first in the series planned over the next few years — shall connect Versova in Andheri west with Ghatkopar in the eastern suburbs, a distance of 11.07 km.

“Overall, more than 80 percent of the corridor has been completed and we expect the Metro Rail-I to be fully functional by 2012,” said Rahul Asthana, Metropolitan Commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

The project is being executed by a consortium led by Reliance Infrastructure, in partnership with MMRDA and Veolia Transport.

Covering the vast and densely populated stretch between Versova and Ghatkopar, the Metro Rail will help reduce travel time in the section from 71 minutes to a mere 21.

Various components of the project are in progress simultaneously – including construction of stations, depots, trackwork, overhead electrification and signalling.

While some stations like Jagruti Nagar and Airport Road are almost 95 percent complete, others are 70-75 percent complete.

An official said that work on the most critical Metro Bridge over the Western Railway tracks at Andheri is in full swing under supervision of the railways.

The work on a cable-stayed bridge on the route is also progressing speedily.

“We have ensured that work is carried out smoothly, despite the heavy monsoons. Also, most sections are being completed at a steady and rapid rate,” the official said.

While the coaches for the Metro Rail arrived earlier this year, the Factory Acceptance Tests of various other rail systems equipment have been largely completed and their delivery to sites is in progress.

According to the Mumbai Metro Master Plan – to be implemented in three phases and involving nine lines over 146.5 km, including 32.50 km underground – is estimated to cost nearly Rs.20,000 crore.

Besides the Versova-Ghatkopar section, Phase-I includes the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (31.80 km) and Colaba-Bandra (20 km) sections.

Phase-II includes the following sections: Charkop-Dahisar (7.50 km), Ghatkopar-Mulund (12.50 km) and BKC-Kanjurmarg via Mumbai Airport (19.50 km).

Phase-III will connect Andheri east with Dahisar east (18 km), Ghatkopar with Flora Fountain (21.80 km) and Sewri with Prabhadevi — an underground stretch the details of which are being finalised.

The Metro Rail will also provide relief to daily commuters from the Thane and Raigad districts.

A monorail project will augment the Metro Rail.

Multiple financing for Mumbai infra projects
M Saraswathy / Mumbai September 9, 2011, 1:03 IST

While agencies look at diverse sources to meet huge fund demand, experts say more innovation needed to attract investment

In order to improve the growing transport needs of India’s financial capital, the authorities are looking at various ways, sources and methods to fund infrastructure projects.

The third phase of the Rs 47,000-crore Mumbai metro rail project is now proposed to be a fully underground stretch, from Colaba to Bandra and the airport. The cost has escalated to Rs 18,000 crore. Says Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA): “Japan International Cooperation Agency is likely to provide 40 per cent of the funds.” He says the World Bank had also shown interest, though no formal proposal or presentation had been made to their officials.

The Rs 10,000-crore Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) project, to connect Sewri in Mumbai and Nhava Sheva in Raigad district, is likely to see some new incentives for prospective bidders. Metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said MMRDA planned to compensate the build-operate-transfer (BOT) operator of the MTHL project in case the toll collection is lower than projected (in case of higher toll collection, the operator would have to share the benefit with MMRDA).

A long-tenure soft loan is proposed for the BOT operator; in addition, to encourage more bids (earlier tenders had to be called off due to lack of enough parties), it is proposed to compensate the second and third-lowest bidders for the costs they incurred in doing so.

Phase-II of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project is underway, to improve suburban railway services. This is being jointly implemented by MMRDA and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. The phase has 11 projects worth Rs 5,300 crore, with a World Bank loan for Rs 1,910 crore.

Says Sudip Mozumder, advisor, World Bank: “The Bank remains committed to support the (state) government’s efforts to reduce some of Mumbai’s infrastructure gaps.”

He noted that the funds required for Mumbai’s infrastructure were huge, but Bank funds are limited. “It is critical, therefore, that the Bank funds are deployed in projects that have a transformative role, and can help leverage more funds. The government of India, government of Maharashtra and the Bank are currently exploring such opportunities. Discussions are underway but no decision has been taken,” he said.

Says Arvind Mahajan of consultancy major KPMG: “The basic formula for financing complex infrastructure projects is a mix of government and private funds. Also, several projects are linked with each other. . The Navi Mumbai International Airport project, for example, is closely linked to MTHL. A public-private partnership (PPP) is the best method for funding, (so) the project should be structured in a way that the private sector can participate.”

Says consulting economist Sunil Bhandare, “Long-term financing of projects by the private sector needs a viable corporate debt market. This is not so in India and the major corporates are struggling to manage investment, battling with global uncertainty, inflation and high interest rates. This might dissuade financiers from investing further in such projects. What is needed is finality in scope, content and policy, so that the prospective investors are encouraged to fund the projects.”

Arun Mokashi, a transport specialist, says, “In transport infrastructure projects, unanimity is required among all the institutions. There are several instruments —PPP, BOT, viability gap funding, etc. What is needed is the will to harness this sort of a financial arrangement into the system for infrastructure projects.”


Mumbai’s Metro III gets Japanese boost

Ashley D’Mello Aug 31, 2011, 02.29am IST

MUMBAI: Plans for financing the third Metro line, which will run underground from Colaba to Bandra and then go on to the airport, got a boost, with talks between the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) concluding successfully on Tuesday.

Senior MMRDA officials, however, said issues like the environmental and social impact have yet to be settled.

“The financial deal could amount to 70% of the Rs 18,000 crore estimated cost of the project,” MMRDA officials said.

MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana said the JICA director was keen on financing the Metro. “They have tied up finance with several metros in the country, including Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore and are keen on Mumbai,” he said.

Asthana said a detailed project report for the underground line will be ready by November. The project will be examined by a fact-finding committee of JICA officials from Tokyo before a final decision is taken, he said.

Asthana said the JICA finance will work out to an interest rate of 4-5% after taking into account all details.

JICA provides loans for infrastructure, development and health projects across the globe and has been active internationally since 1974.

MMRDA officials said that as JICA normally finalizes its projects in March and September, they are trying to have the details ready by then. It is not clear if the project will be undertaken by the government or executed through public-private partnership (PPP), like the first two Metro projects.

“The World Bank is also keen on financing the third line as it is already involved in infrastructure projects in the city. But JICA has an edge in this deal,” officials said.


Mumbai Metro unlikely to meet March 2012 deadline

Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 31, 2011

If you were expecting to travel on Mumbai’s first metro corridor from Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri early next year, think again. The deadline for completing the project was March 2012.

Now, the test run of the metro on this corridor may happen only in June 2012 and commissioning of

the entire line may spill over to 2013.

On Tuesday, at its board meeting, Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), the agency that is constructing this corridor, admitted that the project would have significant time and cost overruns as there were delays in getting permissions to built bridges over the railway line at Andheri.

The building of the metro corridor over the Jog flyover also posed hurdles.

By the new estimates, the test run of the metro is possible only by June 2012. The cost of the project is Rs 2,356 crore.

“The commissioning of the entire line is anybody’s guess. The cost overruns are also significant but MMOPL did not spell them out. MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana has sought a presentation on the cost overruns by MMOPL by next week,’’ said an official present at the board meeting.

MMRDA officials admitted that given the rising costs of steel, cement and foreign exchange rates, any delay in the project would hamper costs.

“We had asked Western railways for 123 blocks of four hours each to construct the bridge but we have still not got all clearances. And, we have to get this work done in the night when trains are not operational,’’ said an MMRDA official.


Mumbai Metro schedules trial run for December

By Jagdish-Kumar · August 30, 2011 · Metros, Rail News


After delays of more than two years, the Mumbai Metro has scheduled its first trial run for December with the intention of launching operations by March 2012.

The trial run will be operated between Versova – Andheri, for which the electrification work will be ‘completed soon’.

Dilip Kawathkar, Jt Project Director (PR), Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said:

“Trains arrived last April from CSR Nanjing’s Shanghai yard. There could be a trial run on the Versova – Andheri stretch by the year-end, but we cannot give you any exact date.”

Mumbai Metro’s Line 1 is 11.4 km and runs from Versova – Andheri – Ghatkopar, forming an East-East connectivity. It was developed by Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MOPL).

A ‘special purpose vehicle’ formed by Reliance Infrastructure, MMRDA and Veolia Transport is constructing the route.

Reliance holds 69% of the JV whilst MMRDA holds 26% and Veolia Transport, 5%.

The rolling stock contract was won by Beijing-based CSR Nanjing, which will supply 16 metro trains to Mumbai.

The first set of four trains have already been despatched to Mumbai and another four are expected to be shipped from China next month.

Currently, the trains have been kept at the ‘car shed’ spread over a 31-acre plot at Versova, near the proposed D N Nagar station.

The shed is 70% complete and the main operational control room for the Line 1 corridor will be situated in the car depot, an MMRDA official said.

Talks on 3rd metro line today

Ashley D’Mello, TNN | Aug 30, 2011, 01.47AM IST

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is holding talks for financing the third metro line from Colaba to Bandra with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Tuesday.

MMRDA officials said they were interested in getting the project off the ground and have already commissioned a detailed study of the third metro line which will be fully underground. The study will be done by RITES-the consultancy arm of the Indian Railways.

MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana said the third metro line will need huge funding. The costs have still to be worked out. “We have still to decide how big a loan to take if the talks with JICA are successful,” he said.

The JAICA loans normally have 4 to 5 per cent interest after working out all the details ,” he said and pointed out that they also give grants for surveys for projects.

MMRDA officials pointed out that both JAICA and the World Bank are interested in funding the metro projects third line from Colaba to Bandra which might cost over Rs 12,000 crores.

The third line was initially planned to be underground from Colaba to Mahalaxmi and elevated from Mahalaxmi to Bandra. However, it was later changed to be fully underground.

It may be recalled that citizens groups in Vile Parle and Bandra had demanded an underground section of the Charkop Bandra Mankhurd line from Andheri to Bandra to prevent demolition of houses and shops.

Hopes soar Metro size for Mumbai commuters

S. Shanker

With the first set of rolling stock from CSR Nanjing of China arriving, the project has moved closer to its implementation.

The Rs 2,356-crore Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar 11.07-km Mumbai metro rail, once operational, will probably restore the confidence of an average Mumbaikar in the public transportation network’s ability to meet his needs. Conceptualised to provide a link between the central and western suburbs — one of the most congested parts of the city — the 11.07-km elevated rail passes through hilly terrain and narrow roads dotted by numerous slums on either side.

A six-km bus commute costing Rs 6 from Ghatkopar West to Andheri West takes more than an hour and twenty minutes, and at times much more, depending on the traffic on the congested stretch. Alternatively, the rail connectivity is circuitous and involves switching to the western rail suburban system from the central network at Dadar. This is set to change. The journey time is expected to come down to 21 minutes once the new rail system designed to carry 40,000 people/hour/direction during peak hours, starts working. The rolling stock is from CSR Nanjing of China and the first set has arrived.


However, the commissioning of the elevated line is still a year away.Mr Lalit Jalan, Chief Executive Officer and Director , Reliance Infrastructure, which is developing the metro rail, said the civil work should be completed this year-end. Electric traction and signalling work have also been taken up alongside the construction. Approximately 40 million units of power a year would be needed to run the services.

The foundation stone was laid more than five years ago. All clearances are in place. Here again, R Infra has initiated additional paperwork to obtain all clearances from the Centre as recent guidelines mandate Central Government approvals.

On the ground, there are multiple issues. The route alignment is on perhaps the busiest roads of the city. Working alongside heavy traffic and ensuring no disruption, the developer has to bring in manpower and material, such as huge castings and girders.

This is beside a host of issues concerning the local populace living close to the road margins, complaining that the elevated rail corridor would deprive them of ‘privacy,’ besides creating noise pollution.


The bridge to be built across the western suburban rail system at Andheri is another issue that is challenging, though all clearances including those from the Railways are in place. The traction power lines need to be switched off to take up structural work across the railway lines, said a senior official.

For this, the developer may get no more than a few hours after midnight each day. The western rail line carries almost two thirds of the suburban commuter traffic which is nearly 68 lakh a day.

Then there are a large number of underground utilities on the corridor that needed to be rerouted, besides the issue of crossing the Western Express Highway. Apart from this, there are demands from the locals to stop the construction of the Saki Naka station till the Ganesh festival is done.


The project is said to be the first public-private-partnership metro rail project in BOOT framework, with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority holding 26 per cent stake, Veolia Transport Co five per cent and Reliance Infra the remaining 69 per cent. The concession period of the project is 35 years — five years for construction and 30 years of operation.

The rail line will come up with 12 stations with a 16-rake fleet of four cars each, operating at a frequency of three minutes initially, which would be scaled up to 18 rakes of six cars each. The Mumbai Metro Master Plan has a total of nine routes spanning 146 km.

The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route comes under Phase I, which has two more routes such as the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd and Colaba-Mahim-Bandra.

Fares are to be fixed by the Maharashtra Government and initial estimates indicate it would be Rs 6 up to three km; Rs 8 between three and eight km and Rs 10 beyond eight km, subject to 11-per-cent-hike every four years.


Sorry, Mumbai, your Metro just got delayed by 6 months

By: Ranjeet Jadhav Date:  2011-08-27 Place: Mumbai

Officials say this is because Western railway has given them permission for only 57 4-hour blocks instead of the 127 they need to build bridge over rail lines at Andheri

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) claim of finishing the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) corridor, or the first line, of the Metro by March 2012 has come to naught.

In a presentation to the chief minister on Thursday evening, MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana admitted that work on the line would only be complete by the third quarter, or July-September, next year.

While MMRDA officials are blaming the six-month delay on the Western Railways not granting them full permission to construct a bridge over the Andheri railway line (see box), experts say that a wide variety of factors will ensure that the corridor won’t be completed even by 2013.

“The ongoing construction of the VAG Metro corridor is in full swing. We are confident of completing the civil work on the entire stretch by this year-end and the metro line will be fully operational by the third quarter of 2012, “Asthana had said in the presentation, forgetting, it seems, to mention that the deadline was actually March, 2012.

Confirming the delay, MMRDA’s Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar said, “Civil work, including electrification, on the line will be complete by August 2012 and the first train should be able to run in September.”

Passing the buck
MMRDA officials say the reason for the delay is that they had asked the Western Railway for 123 blocks of four hours each to construct the bridge, of which only 57 have been granted and that too in the night, when the trains are not operational.

“The lack of permission for 123 four-hour blocks will cause the delay. We have been granted in-principle approval for 57 such blocks. We will work between 1 am and 4 am and the balance of an hour will be adjusted in the Sunday megablocks of the Western Railway,” said a senior MMRDA official.

“Even this may, however, pose a problem because some of the work is such that it needs to be done in daylight, which may require a block in the morning,” he added.

Independent Architect Nitin Killawala, who has been pressing for an underground Metro and has also, along with others, filed a PIL on the issue, is, however, sceptical of the revised deadline as well.

Speaking to MiD DAY, he said, “The MMRDA has been talking about the pending railway permission since 2009.

They are into the habit of misleading the public by first announcing the date of completion and then postponing it saying that the delay is because of pending permissions from the railways.”

“I feel that the project will not even be complete by 2013 as there are many other obstacles apart from the railway bridge construction like bridges passing over the Andheri flyover and the pending work of the Metro yard at Versova.”

Killawala also said that the construction of the bridge over the Andheri railway tracks will be a near-impossible task for the MMRDA at night and if it is done in the daytime, it would surely cause inconvenience to the Western Railway commuters.

A railway official, on condition of anonymity, said that the need for so many blocks could have been reduced had better technology been used in the bridge’s construction.

The Other Side
MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana said, ” MMRDA and Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL, the consortium constructing the line) are in constant touch with railway authorities and we are sure that we will get full co-operation while constructing the bridge passing over the railway lines at Andheri.”

Asked whether the railways had agreed to allow them to work in the daytime, Asthana said, “If they give us permission to carry out the work in the morning, we will welcome that.

Otherwise, we will have no option but to carry out the work between 1 am and 4 am, when the trains are not running, so that Western Railway commuters are not inconvenienced.”

Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR, said, “The construction of the Metro bridge passing over the railway tracks at Andheri should be done in such a way that it does not affect the trains.

They should plan and start the work when no trains are running because we cannot permit them to carry out the work during the day as it may affect our services.”

Bone of contention
In March 2011, MMRDA and the railways signed an agreement for the construction of the bridge across the railway tracks at Andheri. The 180-metre long bridge is expected to cost Rs 35 crore.

The deadline for completing the entire VAG Metro line as per the concession agreement between MMRDA and Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), which is constructing the line, is March 2012.

The number of four-hour blocks the MMRDA has asked for, of which WR has granted 57

11.07 km
The length of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor

Rs 2,356 cr
The estimated cost of constructing the VAG corridor

Rs 35 cr
The cost of constructing the bridge


Mumbai Metro and Monorail delayed

Monday, 15 August 2011 02:36

Written by Moumita Biswas

Mumbai: The estimate committee of the state legislature has criticized the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for the delay of the deadline for the construction of the Mumbai metro monorail service. This project was supposed to completed by 2012.

The committee headed by the NCP’s Dilip Mohite in its 10th report submitted to the state legislature during its monsoon session that, the Rs 2,356 crore metro project from Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar arm metro project would be complete by July 2011, which was expected to end by 2012. The report also says that, the current status of the work is not giving any positive sign. It may take long time to complete. The committee added that it had no option but to say that the authorities ‘had created a façade’ that it would complete the work in a year in advance from the original deadline.

This committee also included the work status of the Rs. 2,460 crore Sant Gadge Maharaja Chowk – Wadala – Chembur route, which was supposed to end by December 2011, it will complete by December 2012. The committee has ordered to have a review on the files of these two metro rail projects, with the current work status, expenditure done till date & when it will get complete.

While Mumbai Mtero One Private Limited – a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by Reliance Infrastructure Limited, Veolia Transport & MMRDA – is executing work on the Mumbai metro rail project, mono rail is a cash contract that consists of civil construction by Larsen & Turbo by Scomi, Malaysia.

Article viewed at: Oye! Times at




Posted: Tue Aug 23 2011, 00:07 hrs Mumbai:



The city’s first Metro rail trial run, for which a four-compartment train was procured last year, is likely to take place by December-end, after a delay of over a year, on the Versova-Andheri stretch.

The train arrived last April from Shanghai, China, and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had planned a short trial run by August 15, after the city got a glimpse of the first monorail run on Republic Day the same year. “The exact date has not been decided, but there could be a trial run on the Versova-Andheri stretch by the year-end,” MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said.

The construction of the first Metro line, the 11.4-kilometre long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor, started in February 2008. Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd, a special purpose vehicle formed by Reliance Infrastructure, MMRDA and Veolia Transport are constructing the route. The second set of the Metro trains is expected to be shipped from China next month.

“Just two-three days back, we were discussing the schedule of train arrival,” said SVR Srinivas, additional metropolitan commissioner. “Last month, we went to Shanghai to take a look at the trains.”

Beijing-based CSR Nanjing won the contract to provide a total of 16 Metro trains to Mumbai. The new rakes will join the first train in the car shed spread over a 31-acre plot at Versova, near the proposed D N Nagar station.

“The work on the car shed is about 60-70 per cent done and we don’t require it to be a 100 per cent complete in order to store the rakes,” Srinivas said.

The main operational control room for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor will be situated in the car depot.

“The tracks are being laid and will be ready. Now, only the finishing touches to the car shed are left,” Kawathkar said, adding the car shed should be completed by December.



 Mumbai’s first metro line may start with one station less

Published: Tuesday, Aug 9, 2011, 8:00 IST
By Ninad Siddhaye | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

With the first Mumbai Metro line likely to start operations next year, a 200-metre plot near Asalfa railway station is hindering the construction of one of the 12 stations planned on the route.

Though the 11-km-long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar stretch has been commissioned, the metro line might have only 11 stations.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is yet to hand over the plot near Maheshwar temple in Asalfa, said KP Maheshwari, director of Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) – the Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium, which is constructing the first metro line.

“While 11 metro stations will be ready soon, work on the station to be constructed at Asalfa, which was named Subhash Nagar metro station, has not yet started. Though we have not got any Right of Way, we can go ahead with the commencement of the rest of the alignment as per schedule,” Maheshwari told DNA.

MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said: “We are still in negotiations with the temple trust. We expect to find a solution soon.”

Citing the case of the Delhi metro’s Airport Express alignment, Maheshwari said: “We had commissioned the Airport Express before construction of Dhaula Kuan and NH-8 or Airport City metro stations started. Similarly, we can commence the Mumbai metro with 11 instead of 12 stations.”

He added that the 11 stations will be readyby December as the roofs were pre-fabricated and easy to install.

In a related development, MMOPL got a push after railway authorities allowed the consortium to continue construction during monsoon on the 183-metre long Andheri rail overbridge.“Another month-and-a-half, and you will see the cables on the structure,” said Maheshwari.…n-less_1574001

Crucial Metro II meeting today in Mumbai

Published: Monday, Aug 1, 2011, 10:00 IST
By Ninad Siddhaye | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

It has been almost two years after the Bhoomipujan ceremony for the 32km-long Metro-II alignment was performed in the presence of President Pratibha Patil in Mumbai. However, officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMOPL) are still struggling to hand over the land needed for the casting yard on both sides of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd stretch. The metropolitan commissioner has convened a meeting on Monday of all stakeholders to discuss the issue.

The Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd route is to be the biggest metro routes in the city. Just like the first metro, Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium Mumbai Metro Transport Pvt Ltd (MMTPL) has bagged the contract to construct and run the metro for around three decades.

However, not even a single brick has been laid on this route. As part of their face-saving exercise, MMRDA and MMTPL officials have been claiming that the “geotechnical surveys” and soil testing for the route has been in progress. However, according to sources close to the development, no civil work is possible until land for the casting yard is made available. “How can the consortium start any work when there is absolutely no land in our possession where we can commence construction?” asked a source close to the development.

MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar told DNA that the central government’s Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has given an “in principle” approval to acquiring both the plots in Charkop and Mankhurd. “We have already made a formal plea to the centre in granting us an environmental clearance. We should be getting it soon,” said Kawathkar. However, sources in the authority have confirmed that getting the nod to construct car depots in a Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) area is likely to be very tough for the authority.

Centre’s move may delay Mumbai Metro

While work for the first metro line is moving at a snail’s pace and the second line’s construction is not likely to begin soon, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has new hurdles to face. The Centre is thinking oftaking partial control of the the metro system through the forthcoming Indian Metro Railway Act.

The move will see a delay inthe preparation of the next metro line. As per the MMRDA master plan, nine lines of metro rail system have been designed. While work for Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar is in progress, the second line connecting Charkop, Bandra and Mankhurd is yet to see any major work.

The third metro line, which will be the first underground metro, between Colaba and Bandra is still in the planning stage.

When asked about the progress in this corridor, metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said the officials are still waiting for the new act to be clarified.

“We will make some changes in the Detailed Project Report (DPR), which is to be submitted to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and Urban Development Department (UDD) of the central government,” said Asthana. “Only after they approve them, we can send it to the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, which wants to fund the construction. Until the issue of Indian Metro Rail Act is resolved, we cannot get a nod from the Centre.”

The Centre wants to keep partial control of the railways over the metro systems, which are coming up in four cities — Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The state governments have vehemently opposed it. “If the Centre controls the metro rail, things will not move fast because each and every permission will have to be obtained from New Delhi. We have seen this with the suburban railway system of Mumbai,” said a senior MMRDA official, requesting anonymity.

The plan for Colaba-Bandra underground metro has gone through many changes, leading to delays. The earlier plan was to construct the metro underground up to Mahalaxmi and extend it to Mahim through elevated tracks.

After Asthana took over as MMRDA head, the authority realised that the Mahalaxmi race course land that it was planning to use as car depot came under heritage site norms. It was then decided that the metro line will be completely underground and will extend till the airport.

Japan Considering Soft Loan to Fund Mumbai Metro

Japan is soon expected to finalise concessional financing for the $2.26-billion Line 3 of the mass rapid transit system in Mumbai on the lines of soft-funding the hugely-popular Metro in the national capital.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is in the final phases of deciding the funding for the third line of the Mumbai Metro multi-billion dollar project with a soft loan at an interest of around 1.4 percent per annum, a top Japanese official said.

“We have been requested by the Indian government to provide funding for Mumbai Metro’s Line 3. The request is being reviewed positively by the Japanese authorities,” said Yuichiro Sano, the top representative for the Japanese agency here.

“I am hopeful the Mumbai Metro will also be financed on the lines of Delhi Metro. Japan will also be keen to provide technical support,” Sano told IANS in an interview.

The federal government’s request to JICA is for the 20-km underground link of Mumbai Metro, referred as Line 3, which will run from Colaba in south Mumbai to Bandra in the northwest of the metropolis, often called the queen of the suburbs.

The foundation stone for the 63-km Phase One of Mumbai Metro was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in June 2006. Conceived then in three phases, the total project cost at that time was estimated at $8.03 billion.

Under Phase One, the 11-km Line 1 runs in the suburbs of Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar and the 32-km Line 2 connects Charkop and Bandra with Mankhurd, both being developed by a consortium led by industrialist Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group.

Both these are elevated lines under the public-private-partnership mode.

The two projects have a holding arm, Mumbai Metro One, in which Reliance Infrastructure holds 69-percent equity, the state-run Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has 26 percent, while the remaining is with French giant Veolia Transport.

“The third line is mostly underground. It requires a huge investment. Accordingly, it is not seen as a viable public-private partnership project. The cost for this 20-km phase is estimated at over Rs.10,000 crore,” Yuichiro said.

“That’s why the Indian government has aproached us for a soft loan.”

As regards the rate of interest, the Japanese official said the standard rate for India is 1.4 percent. “I hope the new loan will also come at this rate with a repayment period of 30 years and a grace of 10 years.”

Yuichiro said Japan may also make available two other options — one, an interest rate of 0.80 percent, with repayment period of 20 years and grace period six years; and, two, a rate of 0.70 percent, with repayment period 15 years and grace period of five years.

State to broker peace in rail row

MUMBAI: The state government wants the third Metro line ( Colaba-Bandra route)) to complement Western Railway’s (WR) elevated corridor between Virar and Churchgate.

There has been a war of nerves between the centrally-controlled WR and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) which is implementing the Mumbai Metro project. The latest flare up is over the report submitted by the MMRDA’s technical committee to the urban development department favouring the termination of the WR’s Virar-Churchgate route at Mahalaxmi. The committee has suggested that WR commuters can use the underground Metro line to get to Colaba from Mahalaxmi. The state is now trying to broker peace between WR and the MMRDA.

Government officials said the committee’s report should not be seen in a negative light. “If the new railway line is allowed to go underground up to Oval Maidan as planned by WR, it might give rise to complications as underground station needs space and approach roads,” said an official. Sources said that committee’s report is still to be approved by the CM. Prithviraj Chavan.

Sources said There is a feeling in government circles that both Metro and Virar-Churchgate corridor are viable if they complement each other.

State officials said they have been requesting the Indian Railways to increase the number of trains and lay new tracks to serve Mumbai commuters for over three decades, but to no avail.

When the state government decided to go in for a metro rail to allieviate the problems of the city commuters seven years ago, the proposal was pushed through. However, soon after work on the project began the then railway minister, Laluprasad Yadav announced the railway plan for another set of new suburban lines. A detailed study was done by a consultant and the Western railway authorities began working on the project.

The Colaba Bandra line will be the third line in the Mumbai Metro’s nine lines plan for the city. The first line is from Versova Andheri Ghatkopar and the second from Charkop Bandra Mankhurd.

Third Metro line awaits Centre’s nod.…ow/9328933.cms

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.

Rail corridor to link business hub to coastal line on anvil

Published: Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011, 0:26 IST
By Rajendra Aklekar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The National Railway Passenger Consultative Committee (NRUCC) has chalked out a multi-link rail corridor to connect business hubs and Metro lines in Mumbai and a coastal rail line and sent their proposals to the ministry of railways.

NRUCC member from Western Railway zone Shailesh Goyal said that what Mumbai’s two rail lines required was more integration and access to business hubs like Bandra-Kurla Complex, Nariman Point and Andheri.

NRUCC is a national body affiliated with the ministry of railways, representing passengers from each of the seventeen zones of Indian Railways.

“The existing routes should be diverted to business districts and should be defined with colour codes like silver, blue, red like the Delhi Metro. This could ease out the load on existing stations and need for feeder routes,” Goyal said.

“Mumbai has a great harbour and a coastal link along with the city’s shoreline, integrated with the water transport too would be a great idea. The railways need to think out of the box to solve commuting problems of Mumbai,” he added.

Local railway officials said they had already moved ahead with the existing Mumbai Urban Transport Projects and would strive to complete them by their deadlines.

“It is true that integrated transport is the need of the hour, but the railways have their limitations and say restricted to railway area. Any bigger planning would require involvement of all stakeholders, including the state government,” a senior official added.


Rs 42,000-cr plan for state

Chetan Chauhan/HT Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 20, 2011

The Planning Commission on Thursday approved an annual plan of Rs 42,000 for Maharashtra with the state government urging the Centre to approval phase III of metro project for Mumbai. Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said the state was willing to provide viability gap funding of 20 % of

the project cost of phase-III, which is underground and asked the plan panel deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia to speed up the approval process.

Mumbai metro is being constructed in a public private partnership mode and is designed to carry six lakh passengers every year. The two phases are under construction whereas the third is under the approval process.

Chavan also asked the Central government to allow export of 15-20 lakh million tonnes of sugar as against five lakh tonnes allowed by the Central government. He cited huge constraints in the storage facilities to increase export limit.

To this, the plan panel officials suggested the state government to define a new cropping pattern for the state as sugarcane consumed lot of water. The commission also wanted the state to come out with water budget for different regions of the state.

In a presentation made, the state government announced that Maharashtra will be load shedding free-state by 2012 even though there was power shortage of 3,000 Megawatt. This will be done through dedicated power supply system for the agriculture sector.

In the coming years, the state government fears that prices of electricity may rise as the existing power plants in Vidharba were facing huge shortage of coal and the cost of imported coal was very high. It was also felt that bringing coal from Orissa, which the plants have been allocated some coal blocks, will not be cost effective and asked the Central government to review its coal allocation policy.

Ahluwalia appreciated the state government for improving pace of development complimented them for new initiatives including human development mission for select districts and master plan for health infrastructure.

Under the Foreign Direct Investment scheme, 4,175 projects with an investment of about Rs, 83,779 crore have been approved for the state and of them 1,665 units have already been commissioned.

Apart from them, a total of 16,140 projects involving an investment of Rs 6,95,516 crore have been taken up between August 2001 and August 2010. Of them 6657 projects have started production.

“About 35 % of total FDI in the country has come up in Maharashtra,” Chavan said.

Briefing the commission Chavan said fiscal discipline was the priority and efforts are on to make benefits of development reach people. He said an investment of Rs. 2,50,000 crore with an employment of around 5 lakh persons was expected in next four years. He sought Planning Commission support in taking forward various projects including third phase of metro.

Metro opening pushed back

Ashley D’Mello, TNN Jun 14, 2011, 05.52am IST

MUMBAI: The citizens’ wait to take their first ride on the Metro just got longer. Instead of the earlier promised date of March 2012, it will be in July that the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route will be thrown open.

This is the third time that the inauguration for the 12-km route date has been changed.

In fact, the change in date was not announced; it was a poster at the Metro site near the new Lalbaug flyover, which stated the completion date as July 2012.

Officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the planning authority for Metro, admitted that the inauguration would be delayed. An official said it had to be pushed back owing to the slow progress in work on the line as well as stations. “Trial runs on a part of the tracks are likely to begin by the end of the year. After that, changes will have to be made to ensure that all safety standards are met with. This is why the date could be extended to ensure that everything goes smoothly when the trains finally start running,” they said.

MMRDA chief Rahul Asthana recently threw a hint of the impending delay when he promised to try and complete the work but did not set a deadline.

Though critical of the constant change in the date of inauguration, the transport circles agreed that the agencies met quite a few challenges to build the lines. “The railways has only recently granted the MMOPL the permission to build a bridge over the Western Railway tracks near Andheri station. The task of constructing another bridge over the Jog Flyover on the Western Express Highway is Herculean. These constructions will take some time,” an official said. The Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL) is laying the tracks.

An MMRDA official said the delay was due to slow progress in work on the tracks as well as stations


Andheri awaits metro malady

Published: Friday, Jun 3, 2011, 2:56 IST
By Akshay Deshmane | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

To make sense of the post-Metro situation at Andheri (East), think of an overflowing dam whose water is channelled through a tiny path with porous, largely ineffective borders.

Why? Consider this: According to commuter projections of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s report for the Mumbai Metro, the per hour number of commuters boarding and alighting at Andheri for 2011 are 9,476 and 7,059, respectively. In the following decades, these numbers are only going to swell.According to a study by Rachna Sansad Urban Design Cell (RSUDC), once the Metro Rail starts ferrying passengers, a minimum of 19,500 commuters per hour will use the system. The maximum number is estimated at 29,500 and the average at 24,500. Caught in chaos central Yogesh Raut, 31, begins his early morning journey to work every day with a concern that’s peculiar to several commuters in Andheri (East): the seemingly endless bus ride in the last leg of his journey to office. “I board the train at Dadar and alight at Andheri, both stations which are generally overcrowded during peak hours. But the train journey is hardly bothersome. It’s the short journey from Andheri station to MIDC, where my office is located, that is frustrating,” he says.Raut has been travelling on this stretch for four years now and says travel has never been worse. “A journey that’s 20 minutes long now consumes 45 minutes.” His friend and co-traveller Bhushan Marketkar, says, “It’s not a problem of frequency, there are many buses, but the supply is far lower than demand. Also, during peak hours, it’s utter chaos as the buses and other vehicles can’t find space on the roads to move.”
The traffic frustrates even those who travel by autorickshaws. Jayant Shekhar, 23, a web executive with a media company in Chakala, says auto drivers refuse to go short distances because they are apprehensive about being caught in the maddening traffic. 















Lack of integration an issue
Lack of a joint integration plan worked out by different agencies in a co-ordinated manner may spell further disaster for commuters at Andheri (East) station area. The plan, as it stands now, will not improve the overall commuting experience, say RSUDC researchers. To respond with appropriate plans for changes in commuter mobility, extensive consultations with all stakeholders — agencies like the BEST, traffic police, BMC, drivers’ unions and commuters — will be necessary.

Transport specialist Arun Mokashi believes there are no short-cuts to finding solutions to problems and the MMRDA still has time to prepare an effective plan to integrate the Metro and

Mokashi added that upcoming roads like the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road and Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road could be part of these linkages for commutes. “For testing linkages, computer simulation by taking into account the CTS model could be used. Also, changing or modifying existing bus routes, testing the alternative of starting minibuses on feeder routes and constructing tall car parking could be tried,” he said.

Who will it finally benefit?
With the lack of integration with different modes of transport, the Metro will most likely benefit only those commuters whose offices or residence are close to the Metro railway stations.
Jayant Shekhar, whose office happens to be close to the upcoming Chakala station, is eagerly awaiting services on the VAG corridor to begin. “For commuters like me, it will be a godsend. I will probably start going to Ghatkopar from my home in Chembur and board the metro there,” he says.

At the same time, there will also be commuters travelling to places which are not within walking distance of Metro stations and are therefore unlikely to travel by the Metro. Yogesh Raut and Bhushan Marketkar are two such commuters.
“Our office is in MIDC. The nearest Metro station is at Chakala. For us, then, commuting by BEST bus on Route 415 makes more sense,” says Raut.

Bandra-Colaba track may run underground

Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 2:15 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

In what could be termed as a major change in the metro master plan, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is looking at going back to the drawing board with regard to the 20km long metro-III which goes from Colaba to Bandra. While the present plan makes it a partially underground track, authority officials are now contemplating going back to the original plan of totally underground metro.

Explaining the concept, MMRDA metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said, “As per the plan, the third metro line was to run underground up to Mahalaxmi and we were to have a car depot at the Mahalaxmi race course near the area where the stables stand at the moment. However, now we have come to know that the site comes under grade-II of heritage sites and it may not be possible to construct a car depot there. This has prompted us to go back to the drawing board.”

The official further explained that instead of going for partial underground metro, he was of the opinion to stick to the original Delhi Metro Rail Corporation plan to take it completely underground.

“The possibilities we are exploring include taking the metro completely underground up to Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) via Mahim. We will also explore whether an underground car depot is feasible somewhere in BKC itself. The second line of metro (Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd route) will be anyway passing through BKC. Hence, the BKC car depot can be developed in to a major metro junction,” said Asthana.

Entire third Metro line to stay underground

Ashley D’Mello, May 12, 2011, 01.00am IST

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority is veering around to the view that underground route is a better option than elevated , but only for certain lines of the Mumbai Metro.

The authority is considering making the service’s third line from Colaba to Mahim and onto Bandra-Kurla Complex and the airport completely underground , although the earlier plan had it part-underground , part-elevated .

MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana told reporters on Wednesday that there is a new proposal for the Metro’s third line. Under the new design , there will be no train parking shed under the racecourse stables at Mahalaxmi. Instead, the shed will be built either at the Bandra-Kurla Complex or the Vidyanagari campus at Kalina. “The race course stables have grade two heritage status and so the plans for having an underground car parking shed there had to be changed,” Asthana said.






















In the past, civic groups in Juhu and Bandra had demanded an underground route for the second line from Charkop to Mankhurd, so that houses and shops do not have to be demolished . Their demands, however, were shot down by the MMRDA on the grounds that the underground route is too costly. Estimates put the underground route at thrice the cost of the elevated one.

Asthana said the MMRDA is in favour of having an underground Metro in the city, but the cost is too high. “Perhaps new innovative schemes could be used to raise finance for underground routes,” he said.

The MMRDA commissioner added that, under the new tentative plan, the third line would go from Colaba to Mahim and then onto the BKC and finally the airport. The earlier plan was to have the service underground from Colaba to Mahalaxmi and from there to Bandra elevated.

Metro Line One




11 km elevated



Estimated cost:

Rs 2,356 cr

Due date of completion:

Dec 2011

Commercial services:

March 2012

Mumbai Line Two




32 km elevated



Estimated cost:

Rs 8,700 cr

Scheduled completion date:


Ghatkopar metro station almost ready

Ashley D’Mello, TNN | May 11, 2011, 01.05am IST

MUMBAI: Work on the Ghatkopar metro station is going strong. Mumbai Metro One (MM1) officials say that 80% of the work will be complete before the monsoon season breaks into the city.

Krishnaprasad Maheshwari, director, MM1, said that almost 80% of the station is complete. “We estimate that almost six lakh people will travel daily between Versova and Ghatkopar; 70% of them will travel between Ghatkopar and Andheri.

S Srinivas, additional commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Developtment Authority (MMRDA), said work on all the stations on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route is on in full swing. The work of erecting median columns and side columns is nearing completion at most stations. At Ghatkopar and Andheri, it is at an advanced stage of completion,” he said. Work on these stations will be complete by October-end.

The first metro line is being built by Mumbai Metro One (MM1), which is owned jointly by Reliance Infrastructure, MMRDA and French multinational firm Veolia. The line will be 11-kilometre long and have 12 stations.

The first line has come up after initial bottlenecks such as resettling families and commercial establishments along the track as well as getting a clear right of way along the route. Shopkeepers at Andheri had to be rehabilitated and project-affected persons resettled before work on the ground actually began.

The Ghatkopar metro station initially faced opposition from shopkeepers who feared that their business would be affected. Maheshwari said that it was only after detailed discussions that they realized this would not happen.

One of the major challenges while building Ghatkopar station, said Maheshwari, was “little space to build. So we had to plan and execute the work very carefully.”

“One of the problems was tackling utilities such as water, telephone and sewerage lines in the station area. The utilities were all jumbled together, so we have to first dig under them and redo the whole scheme without damaging any,” said Maheshwari.

“Building the station was also tricky. Getting the concrete slab work done required working at night and into the next afternoon. It involved working in the midst of heavy traffic, which was not easy.”

MMRDA unveils plan for 14 more metro routes

Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 4:18 IST
By Ninad Siddhaye | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

With the first two routes of the metro already under construction and the third in the pipeline, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has now decided to go beyond the city.

It already has announced the Mumbai Metro Master Plan of nine corridors, and recently the officials of the authority came up with 14 more routes in the metropolitan region- which the authority intends to commence by 2031.

In a presentation given to the UK Railway Industries Association in March this year, MMRDA revealed these 14 additional metro lines of close to 300kms within the MMR. While most of these lines are in the Thane district as well as the Navi Mumbai and Mira-Bhyanadar region, some of them are also within the city limits of the BMC.

Confirming the development, MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said that these lines are a part of a Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS) done by the Lea Associates. “As per the vision to make Mumbai a world class city, a metro network of 450kms is already envisaged. The total cost of this metro network is Rs93897 crore,” informed Kawathkar.

While the first two routes of the Mumbai Metro Master Plan- Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar and Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd- are on a Public-Private-Partnership basis, the model for funding for the rest of them is yet to be decided.

Green light for Metro-II , but many hurdles ahead

Ashley D’Mello, TNN | Apr 16, 2011, 06.14am IST


MUMBAI: The Union environment ministry has given clearance to the 32-km phase II of Mumbai Metro. The announcement was made on Friday by the minister, Jairam Ramesh, who was in Mumbai to discuss issues related to environmental clearances for projects in Maharashtra.

The news cheered up officials at Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), a consortium headed by Reliance Infra, but they said hard work lies ahead.

“The issues with the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd line will be similar to those faced during the laying of the first line (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar ): getting a clear right of way along the route and the shifting of utilities like water, power and telephone lines,” said a MMOPL official. “Adding to the problem is the fact that the civic authorities do not have proper maps of the layout of the underground utilities. In clearing the path for the Metro, we will have to do guesswork. One wrong move and there will be public outcry against the utilities being hit. Also, bridges need to be built over railway tracks in Bandra, Kurla and Mankhurd.”

Phase II is expected to cost Rs 11,500 crore. The construction period will depend on whether the government can give a clear right of way from the beginning , the official said. Referring to the first line, he said the right of way was not given at one go, but in stages, creating delays. “The government took time to rehabilitate hundreds of projectaffected persons occupying residences, commercial establishments and slum tenements lying on the Metro route.”

Building the bridges at Bandra, Kurla and Mankhurd will be a tricky business. “Getting the railways to agree to our design and safety norms will not be easy going by our experience during the laying of the first metro line,” the official said. “The railway authorities took their time in clearing the design for the bridge near Andheri station. They have a number of norms that are not easy to adhere to.”

He said MMOPL also fears protests by citizens. “When the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA; the planning authority for the Metro) discussed with us plans for the second line, citizen groups raised strong objections to the elevated route from Bandra to Vile Parle.

“They preferred an underground route, which would obviate the need for moving hundreds of residences and shops. But the MMRDA ruled out the objections since the cost of an underground route would be three times that of an elevated one. We just hope the protests don’t erupt again.”

CR to fast track nod for Metro II bridges

Ashley D’Mello, TNN | Apr 6, 2011, 05.50am IST

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Metro’s second line got a boost when the Central Railway (CR) authorities said they would expedite efforts for an ‘in principle’ approval of the bridges over railway tracks at Kurla and Mankhurd.

According to joint project director of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the CR has shown its commitment to the bridge , which is an essential part of the 32-km second line of the Metro from Charkop to Mankhurd via Bandra . He said that both the organizations were in the process of finalising the technical details of the bridges.

The corridor has 27 stations and will cost an estimated Rs 8,250 crore.

Citizens’ groups from Juhu and Bandra had asked for an underground Metro line insteadof an elevatedone and even staged protests . The MMRDA, however , insists that the underground line will cost three times the elevated one , something the government cannot afford.

In another development , the Metro’s first line from Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri also got a fillip when the commissioner of railway safety , WR , gave the necessary clearanceson Tuesdayto build the substructure (foundation ) over which the pillars will be built to support the bridge over Andheri station . The alignment of the bridge is on the northern side of the station . The MMRDA and WR signed an agreement last month , which gave the railways permission to build the bridge over the tracks . The line is being built by Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), jointly owned by Reliance Infra , MMRDA and a French multinational, Veolia.

WR officials said they would give the MMRDA twohour blocks in the night to carry out work. “We will give MMRDA more time on a caseto-casebasis ,” an official said.

The permission for building the Metro bridge at Andheri had been delayed for almost two years with the railways insisting that the design must be in keeping with safety standards which they were used to.

MMPOL has prepared a design for a concrete bridge. However , this has to be changedto a steelbridge. Railway officials insisted the safety precautions were important if they were to prevent any accident.


Finally, metro bridge will span Andheri railway tracks

Ashley D’Mello, TNN | Mar 11, 2011, 12.07am IST


MUMBAI: The ninth of March will go down in the annals of metro history as a “red letter day” as both the railway authorities and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) signed an agreement for the construction of a bridge across Andheri railway tracks.

Permission for the Rs 35-crore, 180-metre-long steel bridge was the last major hurdle in the path of the Mumbai metro’s first Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line.

Railway authorities had declined to give permission and asked for a change in the bridge’s plan as well as many details regarding safety requirements for the project. Additional metropolitan commissioner S Srinivas, who holds charge of the MMRDA, said the agreement was possible due to the efforts of Kul Bhushan, general manager, Central and Western Railways, and S N Singh, chief bridge engineer.

Metro rail is being built by Mumbai Metro One, a special purpose vehicle jointly owned by Reliance Infra, MMRDA and French multinational firm Veolia. Officials at MMOne had earlier expressed exasperation at the stringent rules insisted on by the railways but were now glad that an agreement has come through.

P R K Murthy, chief of transport and communication for MMRDA, said the railways by a separate letter have also made available, in all, 142 traffic and power blocks for the construction of the steel bridge ranging from a minimum of one-hour, fifty-five minutes to a maximum of four hours so that work can progress. The blocks are spread out from midnight till early morning when railway traffic is minimal.

MMRDA officials said that the agreement details various checks on safety and security of workmen on the site and the provision of safety gear for all those working on site. All important work such as excavation, concrete casting and launching of precast girders across railway tracks must be carried out in the presence of railway supervisory personnel.

MMRDA unveils plan for 14 more metro routes

Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 4:18 IST
By Ninad Siddhaye | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

With the first two routes of the metro already under construction and the third in the pipeline, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has now decided to go beyond the city.

It already has announced the Mumbai Metro Master Plan of nine corridors, and recently the officials of the authority came up with 14 more routes in the metropolitan region- which the authority intends to commence by 2031.

In a presentation given to the UK Railway Industries Association in March this year, MMRDA revealed these 14 additional metro lines of close to 300kms within the MMR. While most of these lines are in the Thane district as well as the Navi Mumbai and Mira-Bhyanadar region, some of them are also within the city limits of the BMC.

Confirming the development, MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said that these lines are a part of a Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS) done by the Lea Associates. “As per the vision to make Mumbai a world class city, a metro network of 450kms is already envisaged. The total cost of this metro network is Rs93897 crore,” informed Kawathkar.

While the first two routes of the Mumbai Metro Master Plan- Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar and Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd- are on a Public-Private-Partnership basis, the model for funding for the rest of them is yet to be decided.


Mumbai Metro link over Andheri station may be completed ahead of schedule

Published: Monday, May 9, 2011, 3:00 IST
By Ninad Siddhaye | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

If the officials of the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) are to be believed, the work of the crucial part of the 11-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro line- which is construction of the 183 metre Rail Over Bridge (RoB) —which started recently, can be completed surprisingly before its scheduled closure.

According to senior MMOPL officials, the basic construction of the bridge, which is divided in three spans, inside the railways boundary is taking very little time as against the expected delays.
The senior official further agreed that the pace of work was quite good and a bit unexpected. “Work is being expedited by mobilising additional resources and undertaking work at multiple fronts. Further progress will depend on the blocks to be given by Western Railways,” said the official. However, he did indicate an early completion. “This construction activity calls for intensive manpower. At present nearly 200 persons at various levels are engaged to carry out the work. With such massive drive, we expect to finish the entire bridge by January next year,” informed the official. He further said, “The two hour traffic blocks given to us during night between 1 am to 4 am, as and when required, for carrying out the shore piling work. Progress would further improve with more blocks.”

However, there may be a few grey areas. For instance, the crucial period will be the monsoon. “We have already had discussions with the officials of WesternRailways as well as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for
permission to work during the monsoon. As we have already being permitted to work elsewhere on the alignment during monsoon, we are optimistic that this permission too, will be granted,” said a company source.


Green light for Metro-II , but many hurdles ahead

Ashley D’Mello, TNN, Apr 16, 2011, 06.14am IST

MUMBAI: The Union environment ministry has given clearance to the 32-km phase II of Mumbai Metro. The announcement was made on Friday by the minister, Jairam Ramesh, who was in Mumbai to discuss issues related to environmental clearances for projects in Maharashtra.

The news cheered up officials at Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), a consortium headed by Reliance Infra, but they said hard work lies ahead.

“The issues with the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd line will be similar to those faced during the laying of the first line (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar ): getting a clear right of way along the route and the shifting of utilities like water, power and telephone lines,” said a MMOPL official. “Adding to the problem is the fact that the civic authorities do not have proper maps of the layout of the underground utilities. In clearing the path for the Metro, we will have to do guesswork. One wrong move and there will be public outcry against the utilities being hit. Also, bridges need to be built over railway tracks in Bandra, Kurla and Mankhurd.”

Phase II is expected to cost Rs 11,500 crore. The construction period will depend on whether the government can give a clear right of way from the beginning , the official said. Referring to the first line, he said the right of way was not given at one go, but in stages, creating delays. “The government took time to rehabilitate hundreds of projectaffected persons occupying residences, commercial establishments and slum tenements lying on the Metro route.”

Building the bridges at Bandra, Kurla and Mankhurd will be a tricky business. “Getting the railways to agree to our design and safety norms will not be easy going by our experience during the laying of the first metro line,” the official said. “The railway authorities took their time in clearing the design for the bridge near Andheri station. They have a number of norms that are not easy to adhere to.”

He said MMOPL also fears protests by citizens. “When the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA; the planning authority for the Metro) discussed with us plans for the second line, citizen groups raised strong objections to the elevated route from Bandra to Vile Parle.

“They preferred an underground route, which would obviate the need for moving hundreds of residences and shops. But the MMRDA ruled out the objections since the cost of an underground route would be three times that of an elevated one. We just hope the protests don’t erupt again.”

Spanish firm to handle ticketing for VAG Metro corridor

The operators of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro rail corridor have finalised the ticketing facilities to be provided on the city’s first corridor. Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), the special purpose vehicle created for the execution of the corridor, has roped in Indra, a premier IT company from Spain, for implementing access control and ticketing for the 11.4-km corridor.

According to MMOPL, the facility will be “sophisticated” and a first of its kind in Mumbai. “The fare collection system that we have planned for the corridor is a sophisticated and flexible one. Various types of tickets will be made available for the convenience of the commuters. The options range from tokens to contact-less smart card to single and return journey tickets,” said K P Maheshwari, director, MMOPL.

Maheshwari added that the 12 stations of the corridor will be equipped with a system based on contact-less technology. “It’s going to be a closed-loop facility for entry or exit into the stations as access will be granted only by validating the ticket to the validation machine. These cards and tickets have an integrated radio frequency chip that will work within centimetres, allowing it to be contact-less,” Maheshwari explained.

MMOPL officials said the ticketing system is so sophisticated that it will provide information and statistics about use of the Metro in order to optimise resources and improve service.

Apart from contact-less smart cards, the agency will also provide tokens or electronic coins which are single use radio frequency chips. These tokens will be recovered once the passenger exits the stations so that they can be used again in order to reduce ticket issuing costs. Besides the access control, validation and ticket issuing, Indra’s scope of work will also include reconfiguring the control centre’s systems where fare collection and the amount of cash inside the machines will be recorded. The agency will also handle equipment-related incidents.

The MMOPL and Indra have also decided to allow the use of debit cards and credit cards for fare payment. “We have planned the use of debit and credit cards, but we are still to decide whether the payment option will be introduced from day one or not. It might be introduced in a phase-wise manner. Apart from that, online payments are also planned,” Maheshwari said.

Apart from the VAG Metro corridor, which Indra bagged for $ 6.04 million (Rs 26.56 crore), the agency is also setting up the access control, validation and ticket issuing for the country’s first Monorail corridor from Chembur to Jacob Circle via Wadala.

The commissioning of the VAG corridor is running behind its deadline and is now expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2012.

Metro-II to connect Western and Central suburbs

India Infoline News Service / 17:51 , Apr 18, 2011

The Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro corridor is a Rs. 82.50bn project and is being implemented on public-private partnership basis.

The ambitious project of Metro Line – II would be the first mass transit project in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region which would directly connect different suburban parts – Western suburbs and Central suburbs. The proposed line for the Metro II would cover Charkop (situated at North-West), Bandra (situated at West and towards Central suburbs) up to Mankhurd.

Mr Rahul Asthana, Metropolitan Commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said, “The objective of Metro rail is to connect the places which are not and cannot be connected directly through existing suburban railway system. Recently, the Mumbai Metro Transport Private Limited (MMTPL) has also achieved financial closure and paved way for the construction of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro corridor. The Metro Line – II is very critical and apt for Metro’s objective as it would connect the far-off places which otherwise are too difficult to commute on.”

Moreover, integration with the existing suburban rail system near Bandra, Kurla and Mankhurd will create a perfect synergy for complimentary transit system in the MMR.

The 27 stations on this corridor are – Charkop, Malad (Metro ), Kasturi Park, Bangur Nagar, Oshiwara, Samarth Nagar, Shashtri Nagar, D. N. Nagar, ESIC Nagar, JVPD, Juhu, Vile Parle (Metro), Nanavati Hospital, Arya Samaj Chowk, Khar (Metro), National College, Bandra (Metro), MMRDA, Income Tax Office, Bharat Nagar, Complex Road, Kurla (Metro), S. G. Barve Marg, R. C. Marg, Shivaji Chowk, BSNL, Mankhurd (Metro).

The Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro corridor is a Rs. 82.50bn project and is being implemented on public-private partnership basis.

MMRDA closer to getting land for rakes

Sandeep Ashar & Ashley D’mello, TNN |Apr 30, 2011, 06.15am IST


MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government plans to fast track work for all the nine Metro corridors and proposed monorail routes. Land availability for car sheds had slowed down the work for the first two Metro corridors. Now, however, the government has processed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) proposal for reservation of 14 plots for the use of car sheds and depots for all proposed corridors.

These car sheds and depots are meant for servicing and parking rakes when not in use, and usually require large tracts of land.

MMRDA, in its proposal—which it had submitted to the state government earlier this year—has staked its claim on 14 plots, which include private land and those that have already been reserved for public purposes.

According to state officials, the Urban Development (UD) department has said that the MMRDA’s proposal is feasible and desirable in the case of most plots. The file is now with state chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who also holds the UD cabinet minister’s portfolio.

The 14 plots include sites at Dahisar, Borivli, Kandivli, Malad, Goregaon, Vile Parle, Oshiwara, Govandi and Mankhurd. UD department officials added that a change of reservation exercise would have to be undertaken in the case of plots already reserved for another purpose.

MMRDA planners indicated that two of these plots could be dropped from the list on account of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. The development authority is also intent on fast forwarding work on all the nine proposed metro corridors, and has already called for detailed project reports. The nine routes include the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) corridor, work on which is expected to be completed latest by February next year, and the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (CBM) corridor, which is expected to begin soon.

Other corridors include the Colaba-Mahim-Bandra, Charkop-Dahisar, Ghatkopar-Mulund, BKC-Kanjur Marg, Andheri (E)-Dahisar (E), Hutatma Chowk-Ghatkopar, and Sewri-Prabhadevi.



Use Metro to fuel Mumbai’s growth

Think tank proposes FSI of 4 instead of 1 around Metro stations, says this will help cash-strapped state govt generate more funds for other infra projects

Yogesh Naik

Posted On Saturday, April 09, 2011 at 07:17:06 PM

With a view to earn more funds for infra projects, the state government is planning to allow more Floor Space Index (FSI) – to a maximum of 4 – in areas around 500 metres where all metro rail stations will be located in the city.At present, the FSI for Mumbai’s suburbs is one. Higher FSI granted for a given plot would result in permission for more number of floors that can be constructed on the same plot, thereby generating greater revenue which can be used for future infrastructure projects.


Mumbai Transformation Support Unit (MTSU), the think tank unit of the government for urban affairs, conducted a study for the Metro station at Juhu, and has asked the state urban development department to give FSI up to 3.25 for the area.

U P S Madan, project manager of MTSU, told Mumbai Mirror, “We completed a study of the area around the proposed Nanavati Hospital Railway Station on S V Road, along the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro corridor.

We feel that this area can be given a maximum FSI of 3.25 for 500 metres radius around the station. MTSU is of the opinion that the government can give maximum of 4 FSI to areas around metro stations but, in this part of Juhu, we can give only up to 3.25 as it is close to the airport and lies within the funnel vision of the airport.’’

An MTSU official pointed out that the metro corridors will greatly increase infrastructure of Mumbai, and therefore one should grant more FSI to the regions where stations will be located as the metros will speedily disperse the population.

He further said the government can decide a rate for the extra FSI, and utilise the funds generated thereby for the betterment of city infrastructure and also to finance more metros and monorails.

MTSU has also conducted a second study, at the proposed Shastrinagar Station in Goregaon, where a two BHK house costs over a crore at present. MTSU is likely to suggest FSI of 4 for the 500-metre radius area around Shastrinagar Station.

Similar studies will soon begin for stations along the Versova-Ghatkopar Metro corridor, scheduled to be completed by end 2012, and later will be taken up in areas around the Monorail corridor connecting Chembur with Saat Rasta.

State Chief Secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad said, “This concept is called ‘Transit Oriented Development’ and was suggested by World Bank.

As a result, it was included in our comprehensive transport study. We intend to give some funds (from the sale of extra FSI) to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), as they need to upgrade other infrastructure. We had asked MTSU to conduct the study at Juhu first.”

Infrastructure expert and Tata Realty Chief Sanjay Ubale is all for the proposal. “The Metro infrastructure will serve a large number of people and make commuting easier in dense areas. Revenue generated from sale of more FSI must be transferred to a fund solely dedicated for Mumbai’s infrastructure,” said Ubale.

However, Pankaj Joshi, Executive Director of Urban Design Research Institute, said, “Having more FSI at such stations is a good idea. But if the government does it in the absence of augmented utilities and amenities it wouldn’t be all that feasible.”

The proposal also did not quite meet with the approval of a BMC deputy municipal commissioner who believes it will only increase congestion.

“One only needs to take a look at Ghatkopar Metro Station, where the government allowed FSI of 4 for the Versova-Ghatkopar corridor stations. It has increased congestion and virtually blocked wind flow and sunlight in the area.

On the plus side the government will certainly gain funds, but not many take into account that crowding and congestion will increase,” the DMC said.

Builder Pujit Agarwal of Orbit Corporation is, however, among those who fully support the plan. “I feel that any move that leads to more amenities around public facilities needs to be encouraged,” he said.

‘Metro link will be safer and faster’

Ashley D’Mello, TNN, Apr 4, 2011, 05.52am IST

MUMBAI: The introduction of the new Metro rail trains will give the city a modern mass transport system. It will run on a dedicated elevated corridor with provisions for lifts and escalators at stations, modern automatic fare collection system and a passenger security system.

The introduction of the Metro in Delhi gave a fillip to the transport system and changed the way public transport was seen by the public. A team of journalists which was recently taken on a trip to see the airport section of the Delhi Metro, built by Reliance Infra, were shown details of how this line would prove to be a low-cost carrier from the city to the airport for both passengers and goods.

The director of Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), which is building the Metrorail’s first line from Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar, K P Maheshwari, says it will be a faster and safer system. There will be no air pollution and its noise levels will be low.

Maheshwari said that the new metro line will also introduce many safety features.This will include fire retardant interiors for the train with a stainless steel body. There will be a sophisticated CCTV surveillance system on the train which will monitor all the activity inside the train. A special video transmission system is provided in the train so that the central control can watch whatever is happe ning inside a compartment in a running train. This is the first time that such a system will be in use in the country on the railways.

“In case of an emergency passengers can speak directly with the train driver through an intercom located in each coach,” said Maheshwawri..

MMOPL officials state that all the doors are made specially so that they can be used for evacuation in case of emergency. There will be a black box which will record all the vital information like in an aircraft and there will be special obstacle detection devices which will avoid people getting trapped between doors.

MMOPL officials said that all the coaches of the Metro will be air conditioned, In case the AC fails there is provision for emergency ventilation. Special lifts will be provided for the disabled.

Special provision has also been made to keep the interior noise in the coaches to the minimum for the comfort of the passengers.

Work on Mumbai metro on track for year-end debut

Mumbai’s first metro rail may see the light of day by year-end; rail line to carry around 600,000 commuters

  • By Pamela Raghunath, Correspondent
  • Published: 00:00 April 5, 2011

Mumbai: Mumbai’s first metro rail may see the light of day by year-end as work on the most crucial parts of the project — two bridges across Western Railway tracks and the Western Express Highway (WEH) in suburban Andheri — progresses at a hectic pace.

With Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar already announcing on budget day that the metro would be completed by November 2011, the Mumbai Metro One, a part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group which is implementing the project, is making all efforts to finish it on time, said a source at the company.

In fact, 75 per cent of civil works have already been completed.

The bridges will extend from west to east in suburban Andheri, one of the most congested areas in Mumbai. The 12km elevated Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar rail line with 12 stations will carry about 600,000 commuters providing them with the much needed east-to-west connectivity on a journey that is not only comfortable but traffic free. It will also cut a 90-minute trip down to 20 minutes.

The bridge across the WEH will be Mumbai’s second cable-stayed bridge and is expected to be an engineering marvel, a company spokesperson said.

Both the pylons for the WEH bridge, at a height of 40 metres over the Jog flyover, have been completed and work on the deck slab is currently underway.

With the approval from Western Railway for the bridge across the tracks, work has commenced on this critical part of the 180-metre-long steel bridge.

Deadline set

Officials at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority have informed the company that piling works and caps at Andheri must be completed before the monsoon.

Eighteen rakes will arrive by the end of this year, though one has already arrived. The air-conditioned coaches will be safe, visually appealing and have the best facilities and world class technology, offering Mumbaikars a new experience in train travel.

Update 14 Jan 11

Metro bridge work over Andheri railway line to commence

India Infoline News Service

As the bridge would be passing through the jurisdiction of the Railways, it was necessary to wait until due approvals.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) without delaying would commence the construction of bridge for Metro over the railway line at Andheri from East to West shortly.

As the bridge would be passing through the jurisdiction of the Railways, it was necessary to wait until due approvals. The Authority has obtained due approvals and plans the construction of this iron-structured 183 meter bridge works as soon as possible.

Mr Dilip Kawathkar, Joint Project Director, PR, MMRDA said, “We were completely prepared with all plans and logistics much before the approvals came in to avoid delays in work after receiving approvals. The project has been on schedule and the works on this technically challenging bridge would commence shortly.”

The bridge will be constructed in three spans of 61 meter each. The fabrication work of one span is already over and the rest is in progress. The three spans would be placed on four piers of which only one would be erected between the railway lines and three would be away from the railway lines. “We are ensuring minimum inconvenience to the local train commuters. We are ready with the fixed time slots to commence work. The time slots are for night hours,” Kawathkar said. 

The 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor is now expected to be completed within the due deadline of the project. Mr Kawathkar has also expressed that the bridge would be completed in the shortest possible time of eight months. Reputed firm, M/s BBJ, Kolkata, a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Heavy Industries, is constructing the bridge.

Update 11 Jan 11

City may get new Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Metro

Hindustan Times

Mumbai. With even one Metro line yet to see the light of day and work on eight lines still to begin, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is already planning another one. MMRDA wants to construct a 7-km Metro line from Ghatkopar to Mankhurd to connect the under-construction

Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line with the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd line, work on which is likely to begin later this year. “The Canadian company Span Consultants will prepare a detailed project report for this corridor in the next four months,” MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawathkar said.

The proposed alignment for the corridor is from Ghatkopar station (East), extending to Chembur-Mankhurd Link Road at Chheda Nagar junction near Eastern Express Highway, and will end at Mankhurd station. “This Metro line will improve connectivity between the northern and eastern regions of Mumbai. Besides, the new Metro line will enable East-West connectivity from Versova to Mankhurd saving commuting time,” Kawathkar said. MMRDA has constantly been altering its Metro plan ever since it was proposed.



Update 28 Dec 10

Metro routes to get sound barriers

MUMBAI: Residents along Metro routes in the city will get relief as noise mitigation measures will be taken, and sound barriers will be erected at special spots, like hospitals. One of the spots identified is Sarvodaya Hospital near Ghatkopar on the first Metro line (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar).

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) decided to erect barriers along the Metro routes after they proved to be successful on flyovers and road overbridges in the city.
































Mumbai Metro One (MM1) director K P Maheshwari said they will take noise mitigation measures on the Metro track too and will erect noise barriers, if needed, on other stretches. MM1 is building the Metro’s first line. Maheshwari said, “We will put special rubber pads on the track outside Sarvodaya Hospital. Special grease will be applied to the steel tracks. This will reduce the noise to permissible levels.” “Noise mitigation measures are more effective at tackling noise as barriers do not keep out all sound,” said Maheshwari. Plans are afoot to have mitigation measures at Nanavati Hospital, which is near the Metro’s second line.

The issue had come up when citizen groups in Juhu-Vile Parle and Bandra had pointed to the problem of having an elevated route on the second line (Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd). They had demanded an underground route from Andheri to Bandra, which they felt would not need displacement of residential and commercial establishments. They had also pointed to the nuisance of noise pollution from the metro.

The MMRDA is constructing a large sound barrier wall at the Bandra Kurla Complex and plans sound barriers on bridges, flyovers and rail overbridges. The MMRDA commissioner also said that they will erect view-cutters to protect the privacy of people residing near the metro routes.





























































































Read more: Metro routes to get sound barriers – The Times of India
















Update: 24 Dec 10

Mumbai Metro may be ready by end of 2011

Will Mumbai Metro’s first phase start sooner than expected? Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) said, on Wednesday, that it was aiming at completing the project by 2011 though the official deadline was October 2012. The 18 trains that will run on the first 20-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar stretch of the Metro will also be in the city in a phased manner by the end of 2011. These trains would be stationed at the Versova car shed as and when they are  imported from China, where it is being manufactured. “We are sure of getting all the Metro trains by December next year,” said KP Maheshwari, director, MMOPL. Each train will have four coaches, but will have the capacity of being extended up to six coaches.

There is only one Metro coach lying at their car shed and depot in Versova. “It is presently under wraps as we don’t want to expose it to dust as work at this car shed is underway,” said an official from MMOPL, on condition of anonymity. The coaches are being custom-made according to the atmospheric conditions in the city while the temperature of the air-conditioner inside would be adjustable depending on the crowd in the train.

Sources in the company said they are also looking at completing this project by 2011, although they haven’t set a deadline yet. “As per the Concession Agreement we should complete this project by Oct 2012. We have already completed more than 70 per cent of the overall project, even though we get only 12 hours to work on it per day. The Delhi Metro had 20 hours of work done every day,” said the MMOPL official. Officials are attributing the slow progress of the project to the acute shortage of labour, sand, cement and other raw material.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has already decided to hold trial runs on the 3-km stretch on JP Road from Versova to Andheri station in February. However, they are yet to clear impediments in the project as no clear construction area has been provided on a 770-metre stretch of land in Asalfa.

MMOPL also needs to construct a 180-metre bridge over the railway line after getting permission to have blocks on certain sections.


Update 23 Dec 10

MMRDA firms up plans to accommodate 2nd Mumbai airport

With Mumbai likely to see its second airport by 2014, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority or MMRDA has drawn up ambitious plans to create infrastructure and provide connectivity to the island city, reports CNBC-TV18’s Latha Venkatesh and Shubhro Sen.

Mumbai’s civic bodies have their work cut out for them. They are working on expanding their master plan for the city to accommodate the second airport at Navi Mumbai. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority — the apex body for planning and co-ordination of development activities in Mumbai — will have to expand its existing Metro and Monorail network plan to ensure the airport is given ample connectivity on both platforms

Ashwini Bhide, Joint Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA said, “MMRDA’s Metro corridor is going very close to CIDCO area and as CIDCO will develop the new airport. They definitely have a plan to evacuate people, and they will have a metro corridor which will be linked to our Mankhurd-Bandra-Charkop corridor and that itself will work as an evacuation link.”

That’s not all. Either the MMRDA or the MSRDC will also have to undertake a mega road project to connect the new airport to Pune.

Bhide added, “There is another very ambitious project which Govt of Maharashtra will be taking up very soon, which is Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL), which will connect Sewri to Nava Sheva and further to Pune-Mumbai Express Highway, and that will also have a link to Navi Mumbai Airport.”

MMRDA also plans to connect the Trans-harbour link directly to the Metro line servicing the Eastern side of the city — making access to the new airport easier. In addition, plans are being drawn up to connect the new airport with the existing one at Andheri.

The task will not be easy. Sources say these plans will involve rehabilitation of hundreds of people, overcoming a slew of legal impediments like public interest litigations, and getting adequate funding… not to mention approvals from various bodies.


Update: 17 Dec 10

MUMBAI: The connectivity between the old airport in Santa Cruz and the proposed airport in Navi Mumbai is set to be boosted by metro rail. The metro will be a joint project by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco). The MMRDA is firming up plans for connectivity and has held talks with Cidco on the issue. Several routes are being discussed.














One of the routes being mentioned is the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line; another is the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd route. There will also be an underground metro link from the Bandra Kurla Complex to the Eastern Express Highway, and an elevated metro from the highway to the Navi Mumbai airport.

MMRDA commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said the MMRDA is the planning authority for the Mumbai area, while Cidco is the planning authority for the Navi Mumbai area. “We have had discussions on the issue and will be working on a joint project,” said Gaikwad.

He added that Lea & Associates, the Canadian consulting firm which is conducting the transport studies for the region, will carry out a feasibility report for the project. “We are looking at a system under which commuters can step into the metro at Colaba, go to the Santa Cruz airport and also travel to the Navi Mumbai airport if they wish,” said Gaikwad.

There are also plans for connecting the proposed Navi Mumbai airport with the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link. MMRDA officials said funds for the airport link can be made available from either the World Bank or the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation. The metro rail project will have nine lines in the Mumbai region and will link all the vital points for faster transport.

































































Read more: Metro may link Santa Cruz, Navi Mumbai airport – The Times of India


































































































Update: 4 Dec 10

Mumbai Metro in nutshell

The Mumbai Metro is a rapid transit system being built in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. In June 2006, Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh laid the first stone for the first phase of the Mumbai Metro project, which comprises a three line high-capacity metro system spanning 63 km.

Greater Mumbai, the financial capital of India is the heart of commercial and trade activities of the country. Mumbai has always had the distinction and advantage of a high modal share (88%) in favor of a public mass transport system. The role of existing Suburban Rail Services is extremely important in the life of people of Mumbai. The system carries about 6.94 million passengers every day. The BEST bus system provides feeder services to the many station going passengers, to complete their journey. However, due to the city’s geographical constraints, the road and rail infrastructure development could not keep the pace with the growing demand for the last 4-5 decades.

Versova-Ghatkopar Metro Alignment Map (Phase 1)


mumbai-suburban-local-train-rail-map Mumbai-infra-proj-metro-airport-sealink-waterways  Mumbai currently has an extensive commuter rail system, the Mumbai Suburban Railway. However, it is not built to rapid transit specifications. In May 2003, the original Mumbai rapid-transit plan was updated to include an elevated 10 km LRT system, to be built between Andheri and Ghatkopar via Asalpha, Marol, Chakala and Saki Naka. In January 2004, a master transit plan, including a 146 kilometer metro, was unveiled by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The plan integrated a 146 kilometer-long metro system, of which 32 km is underground. In June 2004, government approval was given for a 13-station elevated light rail line between Ghatkopar and Versova. The foundation stone-laying ceremony was held on 21 June 2006. Work on the 11-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor, a part of Phase-I, began on 8 February 2008. Construction of the route is expected to be completed in three years. The project Phase One will be implemented on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis for the period of 35 years. The phase includes construction of three metro lines. A consortium led by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s Reliance Energy Ltd (REL) along with Veolia Transport Co. together with Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) bagged the contract for the 2,356 crore (US$520.68 million) Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor. Work has already begun on this line, which should be completed within three years by the Mumbai Metro-I consortium. The other corridors in the first phase includes the 38-km Colaba-Mahim-Charkop route and the 14-km Bandra-Kurla-Mankhurd route. The cost of the project will be shared by the central and state governments. Andheri-Kurla Road is one of the busiest roads in the country and with the Metro, it will be a relief for millions of commuters, especially during monsoon. From the absence of information through news articles there is little clarity on a plan determine the actual system to be put in place for traffic management, management of passenger inflow/outflow at each station (at every kilometer) and vehicle pile up at each station. This becomes critical since this arterial road is packed for most part of the day and an addition of people and vehicles without a dedicated management plan it would lead to traffic and chaos on Andheri Kurla Road Plan The main objective of the Mumbai Metro is to provide a rail based mass transit connectivity to people within an approach distance of 1 to 2 K.m, and to serve the areas not connected by existing Suburban Rail System. Mumbai Metro is to be built in three phases at cost of 36,000 crore (US$7.96 billion) as shown below – Phase I (2006–2015) • Versova – Andheri – Ghatkopar – 11.07 km (Construction started, expected to be complete by 2012) • Dahisar (E) – Charkop – Bandra – Mankhurd – 39.2 km • Colaba – Bandra – Airport – 30 km Phase II (2011–2016) • Carnac Bunder-Wadala-Ghatkopar-Mulund-Teen Haath Naka – 40 km Phase III ( 2016–2021) • Airport – Kanjur Marg – 9.5 km • Andheri(E) – Dahisar(E) – 18 km Total Length 148.8 km Technology Rolling stock RIIL consulted major rolling stock builders to provide the new train fleet for Mumbai Metro. Eventually CSR Nanjing China was chosen as the supplier of rolling stock. Kawasaki, Alstom, Siemens and Bombardier were all in the fray the get the order, having produced vehicles for metro systems around the world but CSR Nanjing was chosen as the builder.  The coaches will feature air-conditioning, also have closed circuit cameras(CCTV) for commuter surveillance, as well as an advanced passenger-driver communication system that will allow commuters to communicate with the driver in case of an emergency, audio-visual information system, electronic route map and wheelchair facilities, all four coaches of every Metro train that will run in Mumbai will be fitted with a black box. The aim is to develop trains capable of carrying up to 1,500 passengers in a four-car unit. With the input of the Delhi Metro Corporation and Hong Kong MTR, the new trains are likely to follow similar standards to those already in operation in those cities. Power The ABB Group was awarded the contract for supplying power systems to Line 1 of the Mumbai Metro. ABB will be responsible for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of traction electrification, power supply, power distribution and SCADA system for the first metro corridor. Signaling and Communications Mumbai Metro will feature the latest signaling technology, including automatic train protection system (ATPS) and automated signaling to control the high-volume of train movements on the 11 km line 1. A four-minute interval service is anticipated on the route.  Siemens will supply the signaling systems required for the project, while Thales Group will supply the required communication systems. The signaling and train control systems used for the proposed corridor will be based on LZB 700M technology with high reliability and highest safety standards. Mumbai Metro One Private Limited Mumbai Metro One Private Limited is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 to implement the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro corridor in Mumbai. It is a Joint Venture Company formed by Reliance Energy Limited, a Reliance ADA Group Company, Veolia Transport, France and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). Salient features include: • First Public Private Partnership in BOOT framework • Vital Infrastructure Project Status by State Govt. • Provides East to West Connectivity • Designed to carry about 6 lakh Commuters per day initially • Will reduce travel time from existing 1 Hr 30 Mins to about 21 mins • Will reduce vehicular traffic substantially along the corridor • World class features and facilities • World class quality standards • Highest levels of Safety • Travel made easy for physically challenged people   Source:

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