With the state government’s ambitious 2021 deadline to build a network of Metro lines looming, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) invited tenders for the construction of two metro corridors on Wednesday. It has also called for bids for an elevated road that could help decongest the Western Express Highway.
The bids were opened for Metro 2B, which will run between DN Nagar and Mankhurd, and Metro 4, between Wadala and Kasarvadavali.
Both projects were launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit last month.
To speed up work, the MMRDA has decided to build the 23.5-km Metro 2B in five phases . These are ESIC Nagar to Khira Nagar, Saraswat Nagar to ILFS in BKC, MTNL Metro to Chembur, Diamond Garden to Mandale (Depot) and one for designing and constructing the elevated viaducts for railway crossings at Kurla on the Central Railway and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.
The 32-km Metro 4 has also been divided into five packages – Wadala to Amar Mahal Junction, Garodia Nagar to Surya Nagar, Gandhi Nagar to Sonapur, Mulund Fire Station to Majiwada and Kapurbawdi to Kasarvadavali.
Work on three other Metro lines is already underway — the first phase (Dahisar to DN Nagar) of the 42km line from Dahisar-Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd; the 33.5km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground line and the 16.5km Dahisar East-Andheri East line.
The state is also expected to appraise a 24-km corridor between Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan and a 14.5-km Lokhandwala-Jogeshwari-Vikhroli-Kanjurmarg line.
When ready, the network is expected to cater to eight million people a day, more than the suburban railway, CM Devendra Fadnavis has said.
The state is also planning an in-house body, on the lines of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), to solely take care of operating Mumbai’s metro network.
The Fadnavis government is also considering extending the Metro network beyond Mumbai, to areas in MMR, as well as building one connecting the city’s airport to the proposed Navi Mumbai International airport.
On Wednesday, the MMRDA also floated bids to build a 1.2-km elevated road with 2+2 lanes on the congested Western Express Highway.
The elevated road will run between the Vakola junction near WEH and Bharat Diamond Bourse Junction in Bandra Kurla Complex.
Currently, commuters travel 3.8 km through Pipeline Road, parallel to the WEH, and bypass the government colony to reach Bharat Diamond Bourse in BKC.
Another option is to take the 5km-long route via crowded Kalanagar.