MMRC planning real estate ventures for raising funds for third phase of Metro project

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The MMRC (Mumbai Metro Railway Corporation) is planning to foray into real estate projects for raising a sum of Rs.1,000 crore that has to be deployed for the mega Rs.23,135 crore third phase of the Metro project. The MMRC is planning to develop plots of land that is owned by it at strategic locations along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) and Nariman Point, one of the city’s costliest areas. The MMRC will start its real estate foray by developing two towers initially at Nariman Point. MMRC will be building these twin towers as per the initial blueprint with one of these towers housing the offices of political parties while the other one will be commercially tapped according to MMRC officials.

The route III Vidhan Bhavan station is already being developed on the plot oat Nariman Point where offices of political parties like the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP were once present. This has been taken over by the MMRC now for construction of this station. Since the station will be an underground one, the land above it can easily be used. The state government has already assured political parties with plans to rehabilitate them with one of the towers being developed for this purpose. The corporation is constructing an underground Metro III route that covers 33.5 kilometres between Colaba and the SEEPZ at a cost of Rs.23,135 crore. The project is expected to be wrapped up by the year 2021. The JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) has given its agreement for offering loans up to 57% of the project costs, the state and central governments will be offering equity to the company.

The central government has directed the MMRC for raising funds to the tune of Rs.1,000 crore by using its land for real estate ventures. The other land is a plot of 3 hectares located next to the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road. This is presently used by the agency as a casting yard. Once construction is completed, the plot will be vacant and can be commercially used according to the MMRC. The plot, however, is a part of the Aarey Colony and environmentalists have already voiced their opposition to any commercialization of the area. The state government has also taken a firm stance on this issue.

There are no plans for commercial use of the Aarey land till now according to MMRC officials and as of now, only a car depot for the Metro III project has been allowed here.