Will Shifting Aarey Metro Shed Hike Project Cost By Rs 4000 Cr?

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis claims decision to shift Metro 3 car shed will spike cost of the project by Rs 4000 cr.

Updated
India
3 min read
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has approved shifting of the metro car shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg in Mumbai.
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The Maharashtra government’s decision to relocate the contentious Metro 3 car shed from Aarey Milk Colony to Kanjurmarg has been heavily criticised by the state BJP unit.

Terming the decision as one ‘just to satisfy ego,’ former CM Devendra Fadnavis claimed that the move would escalate the cost of the project by at least a whopping Rs 4000 crore.

The BJP leader stated that the Kanjurmarg site was earlier considered by the government but the land was under litigation – and stayed by the high court.

Fadnavis pointed out that the Bombay High Court had instructed that an amount – Rs 2,400 crore in 2015 – was to be deposited, if the claims got settled in the future.

“What is the status of that case today? And, if someone moves to Hon’ble Supreme Court, who will be responsible for the delay? Moreover, since the site of Kanjurmarg is a marshy land, it will require at least two years to stabilise it.” 
Devendra Fadnavis, former Maharashtra CM 

The costs increase further if one considers that previous tenders need to be scrapped and a feasibility report needs to be made for the new site, he added.

“This means that the Metro project, which would have been in the service of Mumbaikars just next year, has now been postponed indefinitely. Rs 400 crore was already spent for Aarey Car Shed, Rs 1300 crore was wasted due to staying of the project and an additional cost escalation of Rs 4000 crore,” he tweeted.

While the Maharashtra government is yet to clarify details of the additional cost, CM Uddhav Thackeray did, however, state on Twitter that the new land has been allotted at “zero cost”.

“The car shed will now be moved to Kanjurmarg from Aarey, so questions will arise as to who will bear these cost. Let me clear this today. The state government has allotted the metro land for ‘zero rupees.’”
CMO, Maharashtra 

CM Uddhav has also stated that the building that has already been built in Aarey before the decision to shift the car shed, will be used for some other public purpose.

Concerns Over Cost a Political Gimmick?

The Mumbai metro is no stranger to revised and escalated costs since the beginning. In this case, environmentalist Debi Goenka believes that the cost is being thrown as a political gimmick.

“First of all, nobody knows how much the metro itself is going to cost. That figure was never discussed with the public. Whether it was Metro 3 or Metro 6, nobody knows. Nobody knows what the fare structure is going to be and I have been saying this for a long time, that if the public can’t afford to use the transport then it is not public transport,” Goenka said.

He further added that shifting the Metro 3 car shed to Kanjurmarg could actually save the government money.

“Now that they are combining the car shed for Metro 3 and Metro 6 at Kanjurmarg, they are actually going to save money, because the tracks from Seepz to Vikhroli is already been made for Metro 6. So, the Metro 3 will use the same tracks. At the most, they will have to build a small 1 km or 1.5 km ramp to connect Metro 3 to Metro 6. That is the additional cost.”
Debi Goenka, Executive Trustee, Conservation Action Trust 

While the economic feasibility of the project is yet to be determined, the government decision does spell relief for one of the last surviving green lungs of the city, the Aarey colony.

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