Now, MMRDA mulls underground Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro

Mumbai

After months of inaction on Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro, the city's development authority has now appointed a consultant to study if the corridor can be constructed underground instead of an elevated one, and be extended to Dahisar.

More than four years after the bhoomipujan, the construction is yet to begin mainly because of issues with environment clearance and lack of complete right of way.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has appointed RITES to study the feasibility of extending the Metro to Dahisar, where it says suitable plots for the car shed would be easier to get. RITES is a Central government enterprise that provides engineering consultancy services.

U P S Madan, metropolitan commissioner at the MMRDA, said, "We had earlier envisaged Charkop to Dahisar as a separate corridor. We thought we can combine it with the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd one. An ideal space for a car shed will be relatively easier to find there. We have seen a few plots and prima facie, they look feasible. We will have to see how it will work out."

He added that the MMRDA had appointed RITES about a month ago and the study period will be about five to six months. If extended to Dahisar, the entire corridor will be about 40 km in length.

The 32-km Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro was originally planned as the second Metro corridor after the under-construction Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro. The elevated corridor was to be constructed on a public private partnership basis by Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro Transport Pvt Ltd (MMTPL). Although the Metro was to be commissioned by 2015, the construction is yet to begin. Besides having only a conditional environment clearance, a deadlock between the MMRDA and the consortium is stalling the project further.

While MMRDA has been urging MMTPL to start construction, the consortium has maintained that it will do so only once the development authority fulfils all contractual obligations, which includes getting 100 per cent right of way and a full environment clearance. The MMRDA had last year referred the matter to the state government to take a decision regarding the project and the contract with MMTPL.

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