Thanks to the inefficiency and lethargic attitude of bureaucrats and their political masters, the work on the Metro-3 project, which was expected to start by the end of 2013, will now start by mid-2015.
Elaborating on the reasons behind the delay in commencing the construction of tunnels for the Rs 23,136-crore project, MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan said, “The tendering process will take some time, so the construction work cannot start this year.”
The tendering process has been stuck almost for a year mainly because of two reasons — the red-tapism at the urban development department and the delays in decision-making of the former chief minister-led state government. It is now expected to be complete by March 2015.
In July last year, the union ministry of urban development had sought conversion of the state-run Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) into a joint venture company with 50% stakes each for the Centre and the state governments for the development of the Metro project.
However, the state government delayed the nomination of directors and the formation of a joint venture company by almost a year. In the absence of a joint venture company, the MMRDA had to push the tendering process forward on several occasions. Finally, the joint venture was formed on August 12, bringing the tendering process back on track.
An MMRDA official said the bidders have sought time to make designs.“If the state government had taken the decisions in time, the actual construction work would have started according to the schedule. Now, it will start in the middle of 2015,” said the official, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Meanwhile, the construction of the Metro depot in Aarey Colony will start this year. The 33.5-km long corridor is planned from Colaba to Seepz via Bandra, and is scheduled to be operational by 2019-20.