‘Loss due to Metro 3 night ban ₹ 6,100cr a yr’
Mumbai: Restrictions placed by the Bombay high court “till further orders” on late-night construction work (10pm-6am) on the Metro 3 line following complaints from Cuffe Parade residents have resulted in not only a nine-month work delay but also — if the stay holds for three months more — a projected annual loss of Rs 6,133 crore to the economy, claim experts closely associated with the underground project.
The cost of laying the Colaba-bandra-Seepz Metro 3 corridor, a project undertaken by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), is more than Rs 23,000 crore.
A detailed project report on the MMRC website talks about costs that would be saved with the operation of the new line. These are the EIRR (environmental internal rate of return) and the FIRR (financial internal rate of return).
In simple terms, the EIRR is a measurement of benefit to the environment by way of saving fuel and preventing pollution, doing which eventually contributes to the economy. The FIRR is the actual financial return.
The MMRC annual projected EIRR is 17.99% and FIRR is 2.19%, which together comes to about 20% of the project cost, or about Rs 4,600 crore. An MMRC affidavit in the high court said its daily loss caused by the delays in construction work was Rs 4.2 crore, or Rs 1,533 crore in annual terms.
Officials said that if all these costs are added up, the annual loss to the economy comes to Rs 6,133 crore, a sum that could be used to lay a 10km underground corridor.
Officials said the total cost of the Dahisar-Andheri elevated metro line being built now is around Rs 6,400 crore.
“The figures for EIRR and FIRR in the DPR are based on micro-assessment by experts and consultants,” MMRC project director S K Gupta said. “They have also been taken into consideration by the Union government and its economic experts while approving the project. The per day loss has been calculated by our general consultants, so the overall impact in terms of cost is realistic. This is visible and invisible loss to our economy, and it has already started adversely affecting us.”
An MMRC official, who did not want to be named, said they could have completed 14% more work, equivalent to creating 5km of tunnels, if the curbs had not been imposed. Another said the tunnel-boring machine being lowered at Cuffe Parade now could have been in place in February had late-night work been allowed.