First for Mumbai

Mumbai Metro Line – 3 (MML – 3) is a key project designed to improve the transportation situation in Mumbai – the financial capital of India. Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRC) is the nodal agency responsible for the implementation of MML-3

In the process of developing Line 3 of the Mumbai Metro, also known as the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz line, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL), a joint venture between the state and Union Government, aims to reduce road congestion and lower the load on the Western Line between Bandra and Churchgate. With construction work on the 33.5 km-long underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro 3 corridor that began in multiple places throughout Mumbai on October 21st 2016, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) is undergoing major steps to ensure the project is completed on time and to a high level of quality and safety for passengers. Starting with stations such as Cuffe Parade, CST Station, Science Museum Station, Sahar Road, Vidya Nagari and MIDC, MMRC has completed the topography survey and barricading work, with geotechnical on-ground work in progress, to create Mumbai’s first fully underground corridor.

Part of the Mumbai Metro master plan, which was revised in 2012 to increase the total length of the proposed network up to 160.90 km, Line 3 is partially funded by JICA (the Japanese mumbai-metro-136-bInternational Co-operation Agency) as well as Gol, GoM and others; the project will consist of 27 stations and is anticipated to cost $3.4 billion. Designed to be a 100 per cent electricity driven system, which will thus lead to zero carbon emission, Line 3 will have 25kV AC traction and a regenerative braking system that will be used to save energy costs and generate electricity for use at other metro stations. Each train on the system will have a speed of approximately 85 kmph and will boast capacity for around 2500 passengers; the commercial speed of the train will be 35 kmph, including stoppages. Key connections on the line include six business districts, 30 educational institutes, 30 recreational facilities and 13 hospitals. The line will provide convenient interchanges with Western Railway at Churchgate, Mumbai Central and Mahalaxmi with Central Railway at CST, Monorail at Mahalaxmi and Metro Line-1 at Marol Naka, besides connecting the upcoming Metro Line-2.

To ensure modern, high quality facilities that result in an efficient flow of passengers, all stations on Line 3 will have state-of-the-art escalators and lifts as well as an automatic fare collection system and a contact-less smart card to not only enable swift movement through barriers but also ensure zero revenue loss. Keen to develop a comfortable and pleasant journey for passengers, other facilities and functions on line three include smart lighting and smart air conditioning, which also conserves energy, platform screen doors to prevent any accidental falls or mishaps, safety and security for women passengers, broad gangways; first aid rooms, wheelchairs for handicapped and senior citizens, 24/7 CCTV surveillance and exits for emergency evacuation. The stock, meanwhile, will be modern and fit for automatic operation. “We are committed to deliver quality and safety to Mumbaikars. Our effort will be to change the way Mumbaikars travel today,” Ms. Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, MMRC, said.

Anticipated to be complete in 2021, tenders for the project were awarded in July 2016 to firms including construction majors Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) alongside their respective joint venture partners. The latter will work on the construction of a 4072 metre corridor on the metro line, which includes four underground stations at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Kalbadevi, Grant Road and Girgaon as well as twin board tunnels equaling a total length of 3115 m. L&T, meanwhile, has been awarded a contract that includes the design and construction of underground stations as well as associated tunnels for package one and package seven of the Line 3 project. For its role in the project, L&T will construct underground stations at Cuffe Parade, Vidhan Bhavan, Churchgate and Hutatma Chowk, with associated tunnels from Cuffe Parade to CST for package one as well as underground stations at Marol Naka, MIDC and Seepz. Also included are associated tunnels from the international airport to Seepz for package seven.

In total, five civil contractors have been awarded the seven packages for the project, with preparatory work such as surveys and investigations taking place in advance of work beginning in October 2016. Contractors were chosen under JICA procurement guidelines through international competitive bidding.

A challenging project due to it being the first underground, driver-less system for Mumbai, which is to be built underneath a range of sensitive structures, the company is using modern technology and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure those involved are prepared for any difficulties. So far construction activities include secant piling for excavation of metro stations, ground preparation for tunnel boring machine launching shafts; piling and excavation works began in seven packages and required a workforce of more than 500 people. “This underground project is very challenging, especially because of its topography and geological intricacies. We at MMRC are geared up with technology and latest equipment to meet all challenges,” said Mr. SK Gupta, Director (Projects), MMRC.

As this mammoth project begins, there is a long road ahead for the organisations involved as they deal with never-before dealt with challenges and construction projects in Mumbai over the next four years. However, once complete, Line 3 will play an integral role as a corridor connecting major central business districts as well as domestic and international airports; it will also connect various areas in island cities and suburbs that currently aren’t served by existing railways.