Even as the Metro One has significantly improved connectivity between the eastern and western suburbs, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has submitted proposals for the second and fourth lines of the Metro to the state government.
The projects are likely to be finished by 2021.
Once the proposals are passed, they will be forwarded to the Centre to arrange funds for them, from global agencies such as the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Metro 2 has been planned as a fully underground 40-km corridor from Dahisar to Mankhurd via Bandra.
The Metro 4 will be developed as a 32-km Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavali corridor, which will be mostly underground with a partially- elevated stretch.
“We have submitted the proposals to the state government. After the cabinet committee approves the proposals, the state government will approach the Centre to facilitate loan process,” said UPS Madan, MMRDA commissioner.
The proposals will first go to the ministry of urban development (MoUD) and then to department of economic affairs (DEA). The DEA will engage in talks with the global banks for financial assistance.
While half of the project cost will be shared by the Centre and the state, the rest will be funded through loans.
The loan process may take up to two years. While the Metro 2 project is pegged at Rs25,606 crore, Metro 4 is likely to cost Rs19,097 crore.
The Metro 2 had originally been planned as an elevated corridor, but the plan could not take off because of lack of land for car depot and hurdles for construction of an elevated stretch. Now, the MMRDA has made the entire corridor fully underground with its extension till Dahisar.
The Metro Four will provide commuters from eastern suburbs such as Bhandup, Mulund and Thane, including the city’s new developing area of Ghodbunder Road, an alternative to existing overcrowded trains.
The 32-km line will be underground from Wadala to Kapurbawdi while the rest of the stretch up to Kasarvadavali will be elevated.