Another bid to put Mumbai’s Wadala-Thane Metro-4 line on track

The MMRDA had to scrap tenders floated earlier this year as the bids were 25% more than the estimated cost of the project

After scrapping bids earlier this year, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) invited bidders for five packages worth Rs2,700 crore for the Metro-4 line (Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavali) on Sunday.

Despite a nod from the state in 2016, the line has faced delays in the awarding of contracts. The MMRDA had to scrap the tenders floated earlier this year, as the bids were 25% more than the estimated cost of the project.

A senior official from MMRDA said: “We floated nine packages for Metro-4 and Metro-2B together, resulting in bids that were 25% higher. When we separated the two projects, like in the case of Metro-2B, and floated tenders for a few packages, we received bids that were just 8% higher. We will follow it in every bid.”

The 32.32-km Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavali Metro, which is estimated to cost Rs14,549 crore, will connect Wadala in central Mumbai and the neighbouring Thane district.

According to MMRDA, the Metro corridor will lead to development around the alignment. The corridor will provide another north-south rail connectivity and reduce the burden on suburban rail network.

Meanwhile, the planning authority has floated tenders for civil construction work of two packages for the Metro 2B corridor (Bandra Kurla Complex-Mandale) on Sunday.

The two packages worth Rs800 crore approximately are for design and construction of 11 elevated stations along the corridor.

Recently, the planning authority opened financial bids for 11 of the 22 stations, with the lowest bidder being Simplex Infrastructure Limited. Officials said the work contract will be awarded to Simplex after an approval from MMRDA’s executive committee.

Another bid to put Mumbai’s Wadala-Thane Metro-4 line on track

The MMRDA had to scrap tenders floated earlier this year as the bids were 25% more than the estimated cost of the project

After scrapping bids earlier this year, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) invited bidders for five packages worth Rs2,700 crore for the Metro-4 line (Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavali) on Sunday.
Despite a nod from the state in 2016, the line has faced delays in the awarding of contracts. The MMRDA had to scrap the tenders floated earlier this year, as the bids were 25% more than the estimated cost of the project.
A senior official from MMRDA said: “We floated nine packages for Metro-4 and Metro-2B together, resulting in bids that were 25% higher. When we separated the two projects, like in the case of Metro-2B, and floated tenders for a few packages, we received bids that were just 8% higher. We will follow it in every bid.”
The 32.32-km Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadavali Metro, which is estimated to cost Rs14,549 crore, will connect Wadala in central Mumbai and the neighbouring Thane district.

According to MMRDA, the Metro corridor will lead to development around the alignment. The corridor will provide another north-south rail connectivity and reduce the burden on suburban rail network.

Meanwhile, the planning authority has floated tenders for civil construction work of two packages for the Metro 2B corridor (Bandra Kurla Complex-Mandale) on Sunday.
The two packages worth Rs800 crore approximately are for design and construction of 11 elevated stations along the corridor.
Recently, the planning authority opened financial bids for 11 of the 22 stations, with the lowest bidder being Simplex Infrastructure Limited. Officials said the work contract will be awarded to Simplex after an approval from MMRDA’s executive committee.

Goregaon Mulund Link Road: MoEF grants terms of reference

The estimated cost of the project is Rs 2,000 crore and it would require the diversion of forest land of 21.5 ha, the area under the SGNP.

IN a first step towards the construction of the Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR), an expert panel of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has granted the terms of reference (TOR) for the development of GMLR and for preparation of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) with additional conditions.

As per the civic body’s proposal, the planned GMLR project is a twin tunnel road that starts at Goregaon film city and ends at Mulund near Amar Nagar.

The total length of the alignment with approach road is 5.60 km, including the 4.7-km tunnel under the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 2,000 crore and it would require the diversion of forest land of 21.5 ha, the area under the SGNP.

In its meeting held last week, the expert panel recommended additional conditions while granting the TOR that includes the background, objective and purpose of the project. In the additional TOR, the panel asked the civic body to conduct a detailed traffic modeling study of entry and exit at both ends, traffic modeling and its analysis to justify the need of the proposed project, impact of the proposed project on the ecology and general biodiversity and noise and vibration study and its mitigation plan to assess the impact on the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Besides, the panel has also asked the civic body to study the impact on Tulsi and Vihar lakes as the link road passes between them, study impact of the proposed project on underground water flow and aquifers and cumulative impact assessment of all projects that are being planned in the periphery of the SGNP.

This comes after the expert panel in August had asked the civic body to justify the need for the project since it is passing under the SGNP.

Civic officials said it has submitted the comprehensive mobility plan for 2014-2034. The traffic volume count survey was carried out at 10 intersections at the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) and few other places, said an official.

Civic officials said the TOR is the first step towards obtaining environment clearance for the project. The project would reduce the travel time between Mulund and Goregaon by almost an hour. It will also reduce traffic congestion on the Western Express Highway and the Link Roads, said another official.

Beyond your city – The talking point – Talegaon

Talegaon’s journey from being a second home destination to a prime residential hub is noteworthy.

Located around 40 kilometres from Pune, Talegaon was an erstwhile second home destination, thanks to its scenic beauty. However, in the last couple of years, it has emerged as a prime residential hub.

The area gradually started witnessing growth with state-of-art amenities at reasonable rates. Today, it boasts of an array of projects from bungalows and townships to affordable housing.

The place is not only easily accessible via the Mumbai-Pune Expressway but is also connected via railway with Pune Lonavala locals plying hourly. It is at a 20-minute distance from Hinjewadi, the IT hub, hence making it a preferred destination.

Because of its proximity to Mumbai, several multinational companies have set up their base in the area. Overall, the area has sound civic infrastructure with good hotels, hospitals, schools and retail outlets opening up. Among the growth drivers are the industrial belt of Chakan and the automobile manufacturing units in the surrounding areas that have led to a large number of migrant population settling down at Talegaon.

Talegaon has predominantly been promoted as an industrial micro-market by Maharashtra government and MIDC and is home to various manufacturing and automobile companies. Along with the area’s growth, the last decade has witnessed a reasonable appreciation in Talegaon’s realty rates.

Source – ET

More areas in Pune to come under smart cities mission

The Smart Cities Mission is set to expand in the city as new areas have been added under the ‘area development’ section of the project, which includes Aundh, Baner and Balewadi.

Officials said the project area would be increased to nearly 2,500 acres in Aundh, Baner and Balewadi from the present 950 acres.

“The expansion is being done to ensure that uniformity of the project is maintained. Additional funds will be made available for the project,” said Mayor Mukta Tilak. She said more citizens from surrounding areas stand to benefit from the mission. The expansion has been made following the demands made by local residents and leaders.

The Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSDCL) board recently approved the expansion proposal, which stated that more citizens could avail of the benefits under the project. Officials from PSDCL said the current area of work is 950 acres and that funds to the tune of Rs 2,200 crore would be used to implement various projects.

Some board members, however, said the expansion plan is nothing but an exercise to gain political mileage. “Even though more areas are set to be covered by the mission, residents of the new areas will not benefit as there is no increase in the funds,” said Chetan Tupe, Director of PSCDCL.

He said the expansion has been proposed to please the elected members of the BJP representing areas in and around Aundh, Baner and Balewadi. It is just a marketing gimmick.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Centre’s ambitious Smart Cities Mission in the city on June 25 last year. The Pune Municipal Corporation and the state government had then claimed that public participation was the key to the mission.

In January 2016, the Centre had announced the first list of 20 cities to be developed as smart cities. Bhubaneswar topped the list and Pune was second. On June 25 last year, it was announced in the presence of the Prime Minister that Pune would implement various projects under the mission with emphasis on transport, water, road and solar systems. Slum rehabilitation and steps to improve public transport were also on the cards.

Source ET

PMRDA to invest Rs 100 crore to acquire 70 acres of land for Pune metro

The Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) will pump in Rs 100 crore to acquire 70 acres of land — 50 acres in Mann and 20 acres in Balewadi — to build the carshed of the proposed Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar Metrostretch.

PMRDA Chief Kiran Gitte on October 17 said they would speed up the acquisition process and has the funds for it. The 23.33km Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar Metro rail project will be implemented under the public private partnership (PPP) model at Rs 7,947 crore.

“We estimate the land acquisition cost will be around Rs 100 crore. Once the farmers agree to the rates, the acquisition process will roll. The land at Mann will be for the carshed and the Balewadi plot, which belongs to a catering college, will be provided to make it financially viable for the company executing the project,” Gitte said.

The PMRDA Chief said their initiative for the “branding” of the 23 Metro stations has received encouraging response from many IT companies. “The most recent firm evincing interest is Cosmos. Infosys had expressed intent to develop one of the stations near Hinjewadi,” he added.

The Union cabinet recently approved the new Metro policy giving clarity on project developments, collaborations, participation, standardizing norms, financing and creating a procurement mechanism conducive for its effective implementation.

Source – ET, Pune

PMRDA to seek Rs 1,000 crore bank loan for ring road plan

The Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) is set to seek a loan of Rs 1,000 crore from banks to speed up the proposed 128km ring road project.

In the wake of the delay in sanction of funds by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), PMRDA has decided to appoint a merchant banker to help seek funds from banks to put the Rs 13,315-crore on the fast track. The ring road is proposed to have various town planning schemes along its stretch.

PMRDA had sought Rs 8,700 crore funds from JICA. At present, the authority has only Rs 638 crore in its kitty and the remaining funds have to be generated through various land monetization models, loans or auction of land.

“Funds from JICA usually take a little over a year. We do not want to delay the project. We are seeking additional Rs 1,000 crore from the banks to fund this project,” PMRDA Chief Kitan Gitte said on October 17.

The development plan for the ring road project has been submitted to the government and the first stretch of Satara to Nagar road will be prepared in the first phase. “Nearly four town planning schemes will come up along the stretch as part of the project,” Gitte said.

The tender for the Satara-Solapur-Nagar road stretch will be floated by November. The 30-km stretch will have three tunnels, a bridge and a junction at Wadki. Eventually, four lanes will be constructed and it will be subsequently expanded to 10 lanes, the PMRDA Chief said.

The ring road project will be mainly funded through the proposed Gujarat model of town planning. The main emphasis of the model will be on land monetization.

As many as 20 town planning schemes have been proposed along the ring road as the financial model. Of these, four schemes will come up soon and the Mhalunge town planning programme will be the model scheme with 100% approval of the villagers.

The town planning scheme is primarily a land pooling system that will ensure that the farmers get back 50% of developed land in their respective plots. The authority will ensuring necessary infrastructure work, while some land will be reserved for auction for PMRDA to generate funds.

For the Mhalunge model, 200 odd hectares of land that were pooled will now have a formal draft. PMRDA officials have also held several rounds of discussions with people of villages situated along the stretch. Most recently, the officials held such discussions with the people of Uruli Devachi and Handewadi.

The Gujarat model town planning scheme of land pooling is being emulated at Mhalunge but landowners are free not to participate.

PMRDA had announced to develop 219 hectares of land at Mhalunge under the town planning scheme, which would comprise both residential and commercial hubs.

Source – TOI, Pune

Your Mumbai commute is set to get smoother as Metro network takes shape, 2 lines approved

The cabinet approved the Swami Samarth Nagar-Jogeshwari-Kanjurmarg (Metro-6) corridor — the second connecting Mumbai’s east and west

The cabinet approved the Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan (Metro-5) corridor, which will be the first to connect growing urban centres in the MMR.

Your commute is about to get a lot smoother. The Maharashtra cabinet has approved the construction of two Metro corridors in the city on Tuesday, boosting the city’s poor east-west connectivity and inter-connectivity in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

The cabinet approved the Swami Samarth Nagar-Jogeshwari-Kanjurmarg (Metro-6) corridor — the second connecting the city’s east and west, following the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor (Metro-1). Most Metro lines proposed run along the city’s north-south axis.

With regard to roads, the city’s eastern and western suburbs are connected by the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) and the Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road. At peak hours, there are massive traffic snarls on all three. According to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), the Metro-6 will run along the JVLR with 13 stations along the 14.5-km long route. It is expected to reduce pressure on local trains and cater to people travelling from the western suburbs to the east via Dadar. Officials expect a significant number of motorists to use this line, reducing traffic on the roads.

The line will also have interchanges with the Metro-2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar), Metro-4 (Wadala-Kasarvadavali) and Metro-7 (Andheri East-Dahisar East).

“Today, if a person has to travel from Lokhandwala to Vikhroli, he has to change lines at Dadar. The Metro-6 will provide hassle-free, single-line connectivity. This corridor has huge potential. We expect 6.5 lakh passengers in 2021,” said Pravin Darade, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.

The cabinet also approved the Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan (Metro-5) corridor, which will be the first to connect growing urban centres in the MMR. The 24-km-long Metro line will have 17 stations, expected to cater to 2.29 lakh passengers by 2021. With real estate prices skyrocketing in Mumbai and Thane, people have started shifting to far-flung areas in MMR, which necessitated the needed for connectivity to Mumbai. “We are also looking at extending the Metro-5 line till Wadala and then GPO in south Mumbai, which will boost travel from metropolitan regions to Mumbai,” Darade added.

Experts are, however, still sceptical about how this huge investment will fare. “These projects have come far too late. Not much thought has been given to how these lines will connect to other modes of transport. Just as Mumbai had a spurt of flyovers once, there are too many Metros,” said Sulakshana Mahajan, transport expert.

Source – Hindustan Times

Mumbai’s first AC train will run from January 1

 

The Railways finally has a date to start running the first air-conditioned (AC) train in Mumbai. Union railway minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday announced the train will be operational from January 1.

Addressing the media in New Delhi on Wednesday, Goyal said the trials of the AC train are going on successfully and the local train services will be operational from January 2018. The train will run on the Churchgate-Borivli route of Western Railway (WR). Its fare is planned on the Delhi Metro fare structure, but its details are still being worked out.

“Trials of the AC local train are in the final stage and the approval of the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) is expected by the end of this year,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer, WR.

The AC local train for the city was first announced in the 2012-2013 railway budget, but it actually arrived in Mumbai only in April 2016. Initially, it was supposed to run on Central Railway. It was then parked in a Kurla carshed for months. It had software issues in the beginning and a series of tests and trials were conducted.

Post the trials, CR officials were supposedly reluctant to operate it on their tracks citing technical problems. The train was then handed over to WR for operation on their route.

Interestingly, this is not the first time a deadline for the operation of an AC local train has been given. Earlier, railway board member Ravinder Gupta had stated that the AC local train would start operating by September this year. However, the deadline was missed owing to a series of technical complications in the rake.

Source – Hindustan Times