A day after the city’s planning agency announced that it was seeking a Rs 20,000-crore loan from the World Bank and a Japanese bank to fund its Metro project, the World Bank said it is yet to decide on the issue.
The bank will look into the merits of funding the Metro project after it gets a formal request from the Department of Economic Affairs, said Roberto Zagha country director of the World Bank.
“These are transformative projects that are of vital importance to Mumbai as they help lakhs of commuters. However, how they will be financed is still to be decided,” said Zagha.
On Tuesday, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) made a detailed presentation to Zagha seeking financial backing for its various transport projects, especially the Mumbai Metro.
With the 146-km Metro project cost escalating from Rs 19,525 crore to Rs 47,092 crore, MMRDA had sought loans from the World Bank and Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
The MMRDA also plans to expedite the project and start the remaining seven lines simultaneously. “There is a need to undertake mass transport projects in a urgent manner. We are contemplating taking up all the remaining lines simultaneously for which we have prepared the draft proposal,” said Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad.
Of the nine proposed Metro lines, MMRDA has started work on the 11.07-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro. Built at a cost of Rs 2,356 crore, it is expected to be complete by February 2011.
Work on the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro line (32 km) is expected to start by the year-end.