Mumbai, Sep 17 (IANS) The stage is set for constructing the 33.5-km long, fully underground Mumbai Metro-3 line with Japanese finance - the first instalment which is to the tune of 71,000 million yen (Rs.4,553 crore), an official said here.
An agreement was signed between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Indian government in New Delhi, where JICA has pledged the first tranche of the 1.40 percent, 30-year loan for the mega-infrastructure project, according to an official of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
The Mumbai Metro-3, one of the biggest in the entire planned network, will be the city's first fully underground stretch - from south Mumbai's tip Colaba to Bandra to Santacruz Airport to SEEPZ in Andheri east.
The JICA agreement follows a commitment by Japan vide Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development for the first loan instalment signed March 25 this year.
The Japanese loan - which would comprise 57.2 percent of the total estimated project cost of Rs.23,136 crore - would be spent on constructing the line, along with tunnels running below the sea creeks, railway stations and allied facilities, rolling stock, system component and consulting services.
With this agreement, the executive agency, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation will now be a joint venture company of the state and central government.
As per present plans, the project will commence this year itself and will be completed in 2020, the MMRDA official said.
The other finance will come from the central and state equity of 10.4 percent each, sub-debt by the central government (4.4 percent), sub-debt by the state (7 percent), property development and impact fee (4.3 percent), stakeholder contribution from the Mumbai International Airport Ltd. (3.4 percent) and MMRDA grant/aside funding (2.9 percent).
The project will give a boost to the public transport network in the country's financial capital where the existing roads and railway networks are severely congested owing to lack of space for expansion.
"This is a very crucial project and has got the required impetus. It will afford Mumbai the required mobility and bring back the aura it has almost lost in recent times," MMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner U.P.S. Madan said on the occasion.
"The JICA loan to this project will go a long way in in addressing the major problem of urban congestion in Mumbai where people spent endless hours on roads and local trains are overloaded. On completion, it will considerably help improve the quality of life of the common Mumbaikar," said JICA chief representative Shinya Ejima.
The Mumbai Metro-3 will have 26 underground stations starting from Cuffe Parade and passing through Worli, Bandra, the domestic and international airports and finally terminating at SEEPZ near Jogeshwari.
It will also provide passenger interchange facilities with Central Railway at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Western Railway at Churchgate, Mumbai Central and Mahalaxmi, and the upcoming Metro-1 at Marol Naka, Metro-2 at Bandra-Kurla Complex and Monorail at Mahalaxmi, the intention being to provide seamless travel across the city.