India: Mumbai's Metro project faces hurdles as costs rise

Mumbai - Delays in project has seen a sharp escalation in costs

By Web report

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Published: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 7:52 AM

Last updated: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 7:53 AM

The ambitious, Mumbai Metro 3 project, an underground link from Cuffe Parade to Seepz, is facing a huge escalation in costs, a massive cash crunch and inordinate delays due to government inaction.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency is funding 65 per cent of the project. However, the delays have seen a sharp escalation in costs – from Rs231.36 billion (Dh11.5 billion) to Rs334.06 billion – and with the project getting caught in a court case, it is likely to be a long-drawn affair.

Japan’s ambassador to India had, according to a newspaper report, written to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in February, referring to an impending cash crunch and “significant delay or stagnation” for the project. But the government has not responded as the matter is in court. Last year, the Bombay high court had stayed the government decision to hand over a plot in a suburb for the car shed.

The report points out that the Japanese ambassador’s letter had asserted that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is funding the project, was ready to consider another loan “to support the construction of the depot when the issue of its location is resolved.”

It also pointed out that as financiers of the project, “the government of Japan and JICA are strongly concerned that the project would potentially face serious difficulties such as significant delays or stagnation, unless the loan is extended in a timely manner.”

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