Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced on Thursday sanctioning of Rs 2,356 crore (Rs 23.56 billion) for the first corridor of Varsova-Andheri-Ghatkopar rail project jointly to Anil Ambani group company Reliance Energy and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.
The construction of the first phase of the 11-km rail project will be executed through a special purpose vehicle by a consortium led by Reliance Energy Ltd and MMRDA, Deshmukh told reporters in Mumbai.
The two would enter the agreement on Build, Operate, Own and Transfer (BOOT) basis for 35 years out of which five years will be for construction, the chief minister said.
The total cost of the 146.5 km-project would be Rs 19,500 crore (Rs 195 billion) which will be executed in three phases.
The first phase will include 38-km Colaba-Mahim-Charkop route and the 14-km Bandra-Kurla-Mankhurd route.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Master Plan will be completed in three phases covering nine corridors
The first corridor, Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar, will be on an elevated route with elevated stations and will connect densely populated areas of Western and Eastern suburbs of Mumbai, cutting travelling time from 70 minutes to 21 minutes.
The metro aims at answering the most congested two-way movement throughout the day by providing access to the international airport and other commercial areas, the chief minister said.
The metro route will have 12 stations -- Versova, DN Nagar, Azad Nagar, Andheri, Western Express Highway, Chakala, Airport, Marol Naka, Saki Naka, Subhash Nagar, Asalpha Road and Ghatkopar.
To suit common man's pocket, the proposed fare structure will be Rs 6 for up to 3 km, Rs 8 for 3 to 8 km and Rs 10 for over 8 km.
The metro will have air-conditioned compartments, escalators, lifts for senior citizens, automatic fare collection centres and automatic door closure system.
Construction will commence by October-November this year and the project will be ready by December 2009.
The foundation stone of the project will be laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Deshmukh said.
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