The project will be implemented through a public-private partnership model by a private entity. “Financial consultants will be appointed in the next three to four months. It will take another four months for them to prepare bid documents, examine the project’s financial viability, recommend a revenue model and help the railways in the bidding process,” a senior railwayofficialsaid. “The railway ministry, the state government and the Prime Minister’s office are keen to implement the project as early as possible. Several meetings have been held in the past few days to finalize the plan’s broad contours,” an official added.
The financial and legal consultants will be able to finalize the bid document within six months.The deadline for the project is 2019, said officials. The railways and the state government are in the process of finalizing the state support agreement (SSA). “This is being done to avoid any controversy at the execution stage. The SSA will deal with issues like relief and rehabilitation of project-affected people, shifting of utilities and floor space index for commercial exploitation of land to fund the project,” a railway official said.
The railway ministry conducted a technical feasibility study for introduction of elevated air-conditioned metro services between Churchgate and Virar stations. The study found the project technically feasible and its indicative project cost was Rs 20,000 crore.