Anil Ambani-led group to build Metro 2
Your dream of travelling in an air-conditioned Metro rail from Charkop to Mankhurd may be realised after five to six years — if all goes according to plan.
A consortium led by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure was the only bidder for constructing the Rs 8,250 crore Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro line. The city’s longest Metro line — 31.87 km — it is expected to ferry around 12 lakh passengers every day.
A consortium of Reliance Infrastructure, SNC Lavlin and Reliance Energy has asked for Rs 2,298 crore from the government as Viability Gap Funding (VGF) and pay for the rest, which it expects to recover in 30 years.
VGF is the amount the government provides to build-operate-transfer operators, who undertake large infastructure projects, to make then financially viable.
As per the terms of the bid, the government is ready to bear up to 40 per cent of the project cost as VGF and parties who ask for the minimum amount from the government will be handed over the contract.
The government will decide on whether to award the contract to the consortium within a week. “The Reliance consortium was the sole bidder with Rs 2,298 crore which it would like as viability gap funding from the Centre,” said Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) Transport and Communication chief P K K Murthy.
But sources said as the consortium’s bid was close to MMRDA’s expectations, the firm is likely to bag the project.
In June 2007, seven bidders had been pre-qualified and they submitted their technical bids. But the submission date for the financial bids had been extended several times.
But on February 13, the final date of submission of bids, all seven pre-qualifed bidders stayed away, and the government was forced to extend the date till May 31.
The second Metro line is facing opposition, with some demanding that the line be shifted underground and others protesting about the location of the Charkop car depot.
“Any project of this nature will have opposition. However, we have the necessary resources and the state backing to take up a such a vital project,” said an official of Mumbai Metro One, on condition of anonymity.