Maharashtra’s Virar-Alibaug corridor gets its Metro line work on the fast track
The proposed Virar-Alibaug Multimodal Corridor (VAMC), that had been drawn up in 2010, is now likely to take off by March next yearmumbai Updated: Sep 10, 2017 01:54 IST
The proposed Virar-Alibaug Multimodal Corridor (VAMC), that had been drawn up in 2010, is now likely to take off by March next year. After putting the mass rapid transport component of the proposed corridor on the back-burner for a couple of years, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the agency implementing the project, has now decided to also fast track the metro component of this project.
The 126-km eight-lane corridor was proposed with an aim to create new growth areas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and decongest the city. It will provide connectivity to towns such as Panvel, Bhiwandi, Virar, Kalyan, Pen, Uran, Alibaug.
In 2015, MMRDA planned to concentrate on building just the road portion of the multi-modal corridor, keeping the development of a Metro line along the route for a later date. At the time, there were concerns about ridership for the metro corridor and rumours that the metro would take off even ten years later.
Now, officials say that they would take up the Metro construction right after the road is nearing completion as data on estimated usage suggests a spike in the ridership.
The corridor between Navghar in Virar and Alibaug in Raigad district will be built in phases.
Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA said that they have chalked out two Metro routes on the corridor. “The entire alignment will have a metro corridor, but it will be constructed in phases,” he said.
A senior MMRDA planner said since the corridor was planned in 2010 there has been considerable change in the region. “We have now planned growth centres at Kharbao; a central business district (CBD)is planned there. Bhiwandi will be developed as a logistic hub,” the official said.
The MMRDA has already commenced proceedings to acquire land. The total land for the project is 583 hectares, of which, 180 hectares is forest land. “We have started negotiations with local landowners for acquisition through the collectors’ office. Once we have a sizeable chunk in hand, we will float bids,” said Khandare. In the first phase of construction, a 98-km road will be built between Navghar and Jite near Panvel, while in the second phase a 28-km will be constructed from Jite to Alibaug.
The project will be taken up on a hybrid annuity model (HAM), Khandare added. The execution model is a combination of EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) and BOT (build, operate and transfer). Under the model, risks are split between the developer and the government wherein it’s the private partner who bears the construction and maintenance risks. The government offers around 40% of the costs to make the project viable.