‘Loss due to Metro 3 night ban ₹ 6,100cr a yr’

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Chit­taran­jan.Tem­b­hekar @times­group.com

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.

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