Shifting of Metro 3 carshed to BKC raises questions over financial feasibility

Mumbai: Even as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has launched a survey to shift Metro 3 carshed to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) from Kanjurmarg, a section of officers from the finance and urban development department and transport experts have raised the feasibility of the project. They have cited time and cost overrun apart from viability as the operator will incur huge losses as the metro trains will have to run empty from SEEPZ to BKC car shed.

The 33.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz line, known as Metro 3, is running behind the schedule due to procedural and technical issues. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s decision to shift car shed from Aarey Colony to Kanjurmarg has further collapsed the time schedule. Originally, MMRDA had estimated project completion in 2021. However, with the state government’s move to explore development of carshed in BKC, it will be further delayed by at least two to three years apart from cost escalation.

Transport expert Paresh Rawal said that the decision to move the carshed from Aarey Colony to Kanjurmarg and now to BKC make no sense. “It will impact the reversal facility, headway and the line capacity which raises serious doubts on the financial feasibility of the Metro 3 project,’’ he told Free Press Journal.

A senior officer from the finance department reminded that apart from daily loss, the MMRDA will have to pay an impounded interest rate on the loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). “This aspect will have to be examined before zero in on BKC site,’’ he noted.

Officer at the urban development cited that already 90% tunnelling of the Metro 3 project has been done. “How will it be financially viable now to consider BKC? There will be technical and financial issues which need to be studied after MMRDA submits its report,’’ he opined.

In addition, the MMRDA and state government had decided to build a carshed for Metro 3 and 6 at Kanjurmarg. “However, BKC is being explored for Metro 3 carshed while MMRDA will have to consider Pahadi-Goregaon for Metro 6 carshed. This will certainly put additional financial burden,’’ the officer said.

Transport analyst AV Shenoy insisted that the Centre and state government need to work together for the benefits of Mumbaikars.

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