Mumbai: Six underground stations along the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ metro rail have been identified to provide direct subway access to private properties along the route. With this, Aqua line will become the first metro service to have such a feature.
Because of the access being underground, the length to cover the distance between the metro station and the private property will reduce considerably. For example, at one of the stations, if the property is accessed via road, it will be 480 metres away from the nearest exit. The direct private access will cut it down to just 300 metres and will have temperature control systems in place for a better experience.
In the next few weeks, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) officials will initiate studies to determine engineering feasibility and its cost implications. A rough estimate pegs the cost at about Rs 20 lakh per running metre, if it is built at 8-10 metres below the ground and is 6 metres in width.
In November 2019, MMRC had invited Expression of Interest to test interest from the properties and property owners along the metro alignment. Thereafter, eight properties were shortlisted in the first phase. The MMRC is likely to invite another round of Expression of Interest in the next few weeks.
MMRC will charge a one-time fee of Rs 2 crore to the private player, as it will provide value to their property as an additional facility. Whereas the operation and maintenance cost will have to be completely borne by the property owner who has exclusive rights of the subway.
As per the terms, the direct subway access will be exclusive to the property or property owner.
“Those who have evinced interest will bear the cost of construction that will be done by MMRC,” said a source.
At these subways, retail activities may be permitted along with the private player having the right over advertisement spaces, kiosk, security and concierge services will also be allowed along the subway, among others.
During an emergency and disasters, the MMRC will have the right to permit passengers to use these private subways for evacuation and other purposes.
The idea of providing direct access subways came in when MMRC officials had been to Seoul prior to the pandemic to study subway systems there. The South Korean capital has around 327 km of metropolitan subway line, of which 290 km is underground.
The aqua line is aimed at decongesting Mumbai’s roads and reducing passenger load on the traditional suburban locals. When ready, it will have a revised cost of Rs 33,406 crore.
As per the project schedule, first phase between Aarey Milk Colony and Bandra Kurla Complex will commence operations in December 2023 and will be available from July 2024 to travel upto Cuffe Parade.