In metro cities the transport sector projects are the ones dominating the investment flow. The cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai are in the forefront of launching transport sector projects like monorail, metro rail and others. The transport solutions in these cities aim to decongest cities and provide a connecting link to the satellite cities and townships which are either developed or are in the process of development. The carrying capacity of the mass transport solution and the speed plays a vital role in addressing the traffic congestion and environmental issues like fighting pollution in a metropolis. Metro project in Mumbai promises a lot in terms of reducing congestion and vehicle pollution.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has planned the Mumbai Metro rail in three phases covering 146.5 km. It will be a rail based mass rapid transit system. The Phase-I covers a total length of 62.68 km including the 11.07 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar section, the 20-km Colaba- Bandra route and 31.8 km Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd section. This phase includes the construction of three metro lines. Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, along with Veolia Transport Co. and the MMRDA has bagged the Rs 2,356 crore contracts for the Versova– Andheri–Ghatkopar corridor for a concession period of 35 years. Simplex Infrastractures Ltd is the contractor for civil construction. Mumbai metro project line-1 is under construction and yet to see the light of the day. This metro line encompasses a length of 12 km and it features 12 stations along the corridor.This line is expected to be operationalise by early 2013. Mumbai Metro Line II-- Charkop-Bandra- Mankhurd Corridor is awarded to Reliance Infra led consortium. This metro line will cover a length of 32 km encompassing 27 stations along the corridor. The project cost is Rs 115.5 bn and includes a concession period of 45 years. The centre has stalled the relaxation of environmental and CRZ laws for the construction of metro train depots at Charkop and Mankhurd. MMRDA is contemplating plans to set up depot in Goregaon. The third line from Colaba-Bandra-Seepz will cost Rs 21,000 crore and will be fully underground. Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) has agreed to build three Metro stations near the airport and two stations at SEEPZ and MIDC will be financed partly by a central government organization. MMRDA is expecting over Rs 11,500 crore from JICA as soft loan for funding the Rs 21,000-crore underground metro project, while MMRDA and the Centre will be contributing Rs 4,000 crore each. For work on the proposed 33-km Colaba-Bandra- Seepz Metro corridor, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation has invited interim consultants. The scope of services includes carrying out location survey, geotechnical investigations, preparation of tender designs documents and other ancillary activities. The consultants should be experienced in designing at least 5-km-long tunnels, three underground stations and must have provided general or interim services for a 5-km underground metro section. The Phase-II has been planned to cover the 7.5 km Charkop-Dahisar section, the 12.5 km Ghatkopar-Mulund section & 19.5 km BKC-Kanjurmarg via Mumbai Airport sections. Phase-II is expected to be executed in 2012-2017. Phase III will include the development of the 18 km Andheri East-Dahisar East route, the 21.8 km Flora Fountain and Ghatkopar and an underground section route. Phase-III will be executed in 2016-2021.
Mumbai Metro: Delayed?
The Commuters in Mumbai are facing tough times as of now and Mumbai Metro project promises a lot in terms of establishing east west connectivity and solving commuting woes. The project is long awaited and expected to be operational by 2013. As the goal post keeps shifting in case of infrastructure projects. Project Reporter has conducted an online survey to gauge the public opinion about this project.
The query comprised: Do you expect Mumbai metro project to complete by end of year 2012 or early 2013?. The survey findings points to the fact that 50% of the respondents don’t believe that the project will be completed by early 2013, 41% of the respondents are of the opinion that by early 2013 Versova-Andheri- Ghatkopar metro corridor will be operational, 9% of the respondents were indecisive. Some interesting comments about this project which points to the state of affairs are presented below. Edited Excerpts.
R Parameswaran, CEPT
The metro project is delayed as it is constructed along the busiest roads of Mumbai so construction during day time is not possible on all the locations of metro rail. so it very rare possibility of its completion by end of 2012.
Jishnu Karamkar, Assistant Manager-Marketing, HNG Float Glass Ltd
Until and unless a strong project management team comes into play i see the metro rail project to get delayed by another 3-4 yrs. Smooth flow of money and perfect operation is the major thing which plays an important role in this project. Also sticking to the deadline, utilizing the skilled and experienced manpower without committing any flaws reveals the efficiency of the project management team.
Mumbai is a mess - there is no other word for it. The roads and other infrastructure are rotten, there are traffic jams every where, all times of the day and night, garbage is everywhere too and slums cover more real estate than planned authorised constructions. Services are poor and over a period of time, perhaps due to the mess that it is in and people are just fed up, citizens of Mumbai are less and less civic minded. Given this very sorry state of affairs and seeing the very slow pace of progress in the Metro Project I don’t think the project will start functioning before early 2014 - how useful will it then be is anybody’s guess given the very huge numbers (that are continually increasing) of people that public transport has to service in this once great city that is now in total shambles.
Deepa Gandhi, Manager Business Development, Larsen & Toubro Ltd
Mumbai metro work is so slow. House keeping in the whole stretch of work area from Ghatkopar to Versova is pathetic. We need to learn a lot from projects executed outside India. The work on the metro is not at all planned. Its big mess around the work area.
S.K. Makkar, Vice President, Unitech Ltd.
Early completion of Mumbai Metro project will benefit a lot to the people of Mumbai. Traveling time will reduce and also ease the traffic jams on roads.
Ashish, Country Head, Asia & Pacific Corporation SRL
The Metro work is going on with a snail pace so how can we expect its completion by 2012 or by early 2013. I wish it is completed by 2012 to further strenghthen the infrastructure of Mumbai and to reduce the traffic on road , which is becoming pathetic day by day with number of vehicles and population in Mumbai increasing day by day.
T. Ravi, Lube Equipment Divn. Manager, Gulf Oil Corporation Ltd
Metro work though goes on with jerks, shall be completed by early 2013. Areas where they were lacking viz. route over Western rly track, Western Express highway, Asalfa near Ghatkopar etc have now been taken into priority and the work has been running fast. Other cities like Bangalore have already over taken Mumbai in the matter of putting Metro in line.
Ashesh S. Ghose, CEO, Rolls Pack Pvt Ltd
Metro has been a boon to Kolkata & Delhi. We expect the same benefits will accrue to Mumbai.
Nabeel, Site Engineer, Peninsula Land Ltd
The big hurdle for Reliance is to build structure across Western Railway tracks. So far none of the station finishing activity has been started. This project will require approx 2 years to complete.
Suresh, CEO, Continental Hiring Co
Looking at the current progress rate it will not get completed in 2013.
Anek Agrawal, Senior Associate Consultant, Feedback Infrastructure Services Pvt Ltd
The Mumbai Metro VAG Corridor is already delayed with lots of work still pending. Cant be completed even by mid 2013.
Vivek Kumar, Associate Director, CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory
Given the present stage, it does not look likely that the project will get completed in another year.
Shabbir Lucknowi, Proprietor, V R International Co.
As per the current speed of work it seems well on the track and hope to be commissioned by early 2013.
Col V N Bapat, Project Management Consultant, ReeCons
Present status indicate Mumbai Metro Project is likely to be completed by end of 2013.
Nilesh Shah, AVP Projects, Quantum Projectinfra Pvt Ltd
There is lack of will to complete the project. Contractors are aware that Govt. is a sitting duck and can be squeezed easily. They are aware of the new trend of delaying the project and getting increments in costs / concessions.
Javed, Project & Plant Engineer, Jindal Stainless Steelway Ltd
I think it is not possible, May be this project will be completed by June-July 2013.
Suhas Eklahare, Exec V P, NCCL
The civil works are now nearing completion. finishing works, mep works are to be completed. Electro mechanical works,rolling stock trials are to be completed. Safety clearances are to be obtained. hence it will take at least 12 to 15 months to fully commission the project.
Rahman, Civil Engineer, Vatsala Constructions & Consultants
Definitely has to complete by this date, due to delays the construction cost goes high at the same time public/ commuters will face lot of problems till the completion of project, Also elections are nearing during these times work will not move as it has planned.
Geetha, CEO, MGK Mines India
There are lot of things required to finish a project, which is most likely to be affected by the public, govt. nature etc. Summer, power, water, funds, labour, raw materials cost can also affect. I cannot say that this project will complete as per schedule.
BN Bandopadhyay, AGM Projects, Fives India
As this construction work has to be routed within existing busy city, different kind of hindrance are likely to be faced. Hence the construction work is expected to be delayed.
Dr. Satish Umrikar, Hydrogeologist, Govt
Fast movement in mega cities means comfort to people. It is to be achieved fast. It is because the city gives back returns instantly and for longer times. We have seen it happening in many metro cities. Then why not in Mumbai, the economic capital of India ? It must happen and happen quickly.
Sandeep Shinde, IT - Incharge, Indian Plastics Institute
Every where 80 to 85% work is completed, 20 to 15% to be completed. I think 6-7 month is more than enough to complete the project.
G N Murty, Divisional Engineer, East coast Railway
Creating railway infrastructure in metros is a toughest task due to land acquisition,diversion of traffic,poltical atmosphere etc. Hence completion period will always get extended., Hope this will complete in 2013
L P Sinha, Sr Manager (MIS), Indian Rare Earths
Delay happens due to government intervention and not proper support by the govenment official dealing with the project. Because they are not committed to their job being employed in Government and Public Sector undertaking.
HS Bhatia, Director, Sterling Enterprises
After commencing the project they took 3 years to decide the design how to cross Andheri station,the way operations are on with minimum workers they will take another 5 years.
Lalit, Retired. GGM, RSMML
They dont like to complete work as they think that by delaying projects they will be able to manipulate more funds from it.
Ashish K Tiwari, Special Correspondent, Diligent Media Corp Ltd
I think it may get operational partially as work on a small stretch I’m told is almost done. The infrastructure scenario in Mumbai is at its worst and I don’t really think the people responsible for this project are in any hurry to get this rolling.
Ms Lakshmi Krishnan, Director, Poonawalla Consultants Pvt Ltd
Very crucial for Mumbai infrastructure to be in place . Also needs to be completed on time else there will be cost over runs.
Ashish Sharma, Country Head, Asia & Pacific Corporation Srl
It is the need of the hour to decongest Mumbai road traffic and to reduce the commutation time. Else we shall be continuing to spend most of the time commuting on Mumbai roads due to traffic congestion/jams.
Parulekar, Proprietor, Banyan Constructions
It is not possible to complete the job on schedule as still so much work is pending such as metro stations, some connecting bridges etc.
Nirav Shah, Head- Specialty Vehicle Sale, Benchmark Cars- Mercedes Benz
I say that it’s gonna take sometime because Mumbai is geographically placed in such a way that getting this project done without disturbing the well known urban & Ubercool mumbai crowd and its infrastructure which is alive 24*7, it’s little difficult. Anyways, we will go places, may be a little later.
Dr C B Navalkar, CEO. Advisor-Mining & Explosive Applications, Semcons Consultants
Normally, all Government organizations have some or the other handicaps and as a result cannot complete the project within stipulated time period.
Due to the weather / labor / land problems the project completion will take more time, in my opinion.
*Respondents comments are made in personal capacity and should not be taken as the view of the company they represent. Also the comments are arranged in a random order.
*To see more comments visit www.ProjectReporter.co.in