With the proposed Churchgate-Virar elevated corridor stuck on the drawing board, the railway authorities are considering a new financial model for the CST-Panvel elevated air-conditioned (AC) corridor.
Earlier, the 50km CST-Panvel corridor was planned on the lines of the Churchgate-Virar one, with construction to be carried out on the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
However, after receiving little response from the state for PPP projects, the railways have scrapped the Churchgate-Virar corridor.
Fearing a similar fate for the other project, the authorities have started to plan it on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) or a standalone financial model.
In the EPC financial model, the railways, state government and other stakeholders such as the municipal corporations and the World Bank provide funds.
In the PPP model, private bidders are invited to finance a project. They get commercial rights to develop the properties or are allowed to operate the system and make profits for a stipulated time.
“The EPC financial model is being considered for the CST-Panvel elevated corridor, as it will bring down the project cost and not involve private entities. The cost can be shared among all stakeholders, who will also be the beneficiaries of the project,” said a senior Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) official, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
According to officials, the cost of the project is expected to come down from the estimated Rs13,000 crore to Rs10,000 crore.
“As the funds will come from the government and the World Bank, the interest rate will be low. Any infrastructure project will run into problems it if its costs increases,” the official added.
The MRVC has been pushing for the project since 2012 and has also conducted a detailed project report on it.