DNA | Last Modified - Jul 28, 2011, 05:52 AM IST
Mumbai: While work for the first metro line is moving at a snail's pace and the second line's construction is not likely to begin soon, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has new hurdles to face. The Centre is thinking of taking partial control of the the metro system through the forthcoming Indian Metro Railway Act.
The move will see a delay in the preparation of the next metro line. As per the MMRDA master plan, nine lines of metro rail system have been designed. While work for Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar is in progress, the second line connecting Charkop, Bandra and Mankhurd is yet to see any major work.
The third metro line, which will be the first underground metro, between Colaba and Bandra is still in the planning stage.
When asked about the progress in this corridor, metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said the officials are still waiting for the new act to be clarified.
"We will make some changes in the Detailed Project Report (DPR), which is to be submitted to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and Urban Development Department (UDD) of the central government," said Asthana. "Only after they approve them, we can send it to the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, which wants to fund the construction. Until the issue of Indian Metro Rail Act is resolved, we cannot get a nod from the Centre."
The Centre wants to keep partial control of the railways over the metro systems, which are coming up in four cities — Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The state governments have vehemently opposed it. "If the Centre controls the metro rail, things will not move fast because each and every permission will have to be obtained from New Delhi. We have seen this with the suburban railway system of Mumbai," said a senior MMRDA official, requesting anonymity.
The plan for Colaba-Bandra underground metro has gone through many changes, leading to delays. The earlier plan was to construct the metro underground up to Mahalaxmi and extend it to Mahim through elevated tracks.
After Asthana took over as MMRDA head, the authority realised that the Mahalaxmi race course land that it was planning to use as car depot came under heritage site norms. It was then decided that the metro line will be completely underground and will extend till the airport.