In less than three years from now, the city will have its second metro route. Work on Mumbai Metro 7, connecting Dahisar East to Andheri East, will start by September 2016. The project is expected to be up and running by mid-2019, according to a senior Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) official.
The Reliance Group-controlled Mumbai Metro 1 connecting Versova and Ghatkopar was commissioned in mid-2014 even though work on the 11.7-km stretch had started in early 2008.
“Metro 7 project is all set to take off after the rainy season. The contracts have been awarded and the contractors are mobilising resources to commence civil work by September,” a senior official of the development authority said.
Earlier last month, MMRDA’s Executive Committee had cleared the appointment of contractors for the project, giving it the final stamp of approval.
The 16.5-km-long Metro 7 corridor will be constructed in three packages which have been assigned to three contractors. It will have an elevated viaduct and 16 stations.
Unlike the Mumbai Metro 1 project, which came up through the Public Private Partnership route and resulted in project delay causing a cost escalation to Rs 4,321 crore from Rs 2,356 crore, Mumbai Metro 7 is being executed through the Engineering Procurement and Construction model, which means MMRDA will be the the project’s sole owner.
Simplex Infrastructure Ltd has been entrusted with the task of designing and constructing the first package, consisting of an elevated viaduct and five stations namely Andheri (East), Shankarwadi, JVLR Junction, Mahanand and New Ashok Nagar.
JKumar Infraprojects Ltd has been given the contract for the second package consisting of an elevated viaduct and six stations namely Aarey, Dindoshi, Pathan Wadi, Pushpa Park, Bandongri and Mahindra & Mahindra in Kandivali.
NCC Ltd will design and construct the third package consisting of an elevated viaduct and five elevated stations, which include Magathane, Devipada, National Park, Ovaripada and Dahisar (East).
The contractors are likely to complete the construction of the entire corridor and all 16 stations within 30 months from the day of commencement of work. The project will involve an investment of Rs 6,200 crore and MMRDA officials said there is no problem in augmenting funding. The system is designed for 8-coach trains to run on this route and according to MMRDA’s estimates, over 4 lakh people will use it by 2021.
“The stretch will connect one of the busiest business districts in Mumbai to the north western part of the city. The project will ease pressure on the Western Railway and the Western Express Highway,” said Rohit Chaturvedi, Director, CRISIL Risk and Advisory Services.
He said from real estate standpoint, Andheri East will grow in stature as a business district. The project will also enable faster real estate development in Dahisar and nearby areas, he said.
“Given the capacity of 1,100 passengers of each train comprising four cars, the metro can haul more than 2.5 lakh passengers in peak hours (assuming peak hours are 7-11 am and 5-9 pm respectively). If the service intervals can be reduced, the haulage capacity can be increased substantially,” Mr Charurvedi said.
He said the project completion cost of Rs 6,200 crore is almost a third more than the original estimate.
However, travel time on this route will be less than half-an-hour, which is a third of the time taken by road on the same stretch during peak hours. MMRDA officials said the project is unlikely to face any delay on account of land acquisition as it will come up beside the Western Express Highway, where mostly encroachment-free land is available.
Contractors are likely to complete construction of the entire corridor within 30 months