Work on Colaba-Seepz metro to start by March 2016

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The work on the much touted Colaba-Seepz underground metro line is likely to commence before March 2016-end.

“We have already completed the initial process for the project. We are currently in the final stages of selecting the bidder. We expect the pre-construction work on the project to commence before March 2016 and will be completed by 2020,” Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) Managing Director Ashwini Bhide, said.

She said MMRC has already shortlisted nine consortia for the over Rs. 23,000-crore, 33-km underground rail link, which will now go through the second round of bidding.

“Since the project will be developed in seven packages and is the first of its kind in the city, we have to go through a long process of selecting the final bidders. Currently, we have shortlisted nine bidders. We expect the selection process to be completed over the next 6-7 months,” she said.

Bhoomipujan for the project was carried out in August last year at Marol in the northern suburb of the city.

Talking about fares for the metro, Bhide said it will be determined on the lines of the fares fixed by the DMRC, indexed at 7.5 per cent and would be revised every second year.

The MMRC has fixed fares between Rs. 11 and Rs. 37 for the proposed corridor.

“The initial fares would be fixed on lines of those charged by DMRC. Later, it will be determined by the fare fixation committee,” she said.

On the funding for the Rs. 23,136 crore project, Bhide said that the Japanese funding agency JICA would be providing a soft loan to the extent of Rs. 13,235 crore in tranches.