Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday said the Mumbai Metro would be extended till Thane and the final project report would be available with the government in a month's time.
Replying to a discussion on the calling attention notice for the proposed Thane Metro project at the legislative assembly, Chavan said a metro service within Thane city was not economically feasible.
Considering the prospects of development in Thane city and in Ghodbunder road area, he said earlier the government had proposed a metro service in the Thane city- Teen Haat Naka-Kaapurbavdi-Ghodbunder road sector and had hired firm Consulting Engineering Services (CES) to prepare a project report including its economical feasibility.
However, the report said the project is not economically feasible, since majority of people in Thane city and nearby areas travel to Mumbai for work every day, Chavan said.
According to him, a new proposal of Wadala-Ghatkopar-Teen Haat Naka (Thane) is being examined by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA).
A detailed project report by consultant Rail India Technical and Economic Service (Rites) is being prepared.
According to the preliminary report, the proposed metro line, linking Mumbai to Thane will cost Rs 22,000 crore and will be of 32 km and have 29 stations. The detailed report is expected in a one's month, Chavan added.
The board of directors of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation also feels that considering the potential of growth and development along the Eastern Express highway and the Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) marg, the new metro service can be elevated as well as underground. The option is being studied by the consultants, he told the house.
The Chief Minister said a proposal to link three main cities of Thane district – Thane, Kalyan and Bhiwandi through a mass rapid transport system is also being studied. Earlier, a mono rail service was planned for these three cities.
Chavan said a study was conducted few years back but due to growing population in these areas, the government has asked Rites to conduct a fresh study for a rail based mass rapid transport system to link these cities with the proposed Wadala-Thane-Kasarwadavli Metro.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Girish Bapat demanded a separate ministry for Metro railway, while NCP's Nawab Malik said metro railway should cover the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
Chavan told the members that their suggestions were good and would be considered. He said the government has planned metro service for Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Navi Mumbai and Nagpur as well.
The first phase of Mumbai Metro 11.4 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar was recently inaugurated on June 8.
Sharing details of Metro line 3, he said the Metro line 3 Colaba-Bandra-Seepz has been approved by the centre and for the second Metro line- Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd, Rites is studying the feasibility for its underground sections.
Thane legislators Eknath Shinde and Pratap Sarnaik (both of Shiv Sena) through the calling attention notice had criticised the government for delay in commissioning of the Thane Metro saying that the population in Thane district has crossed one crore mark and there was immense pressure on suburban central railway.
They asked the government to start the proposed metro service at the earliest to cater to the growing population in the district.
Chavan told them that the detailed project report linking Mumbai metro to Thane would be sought before August 15. However, they were not satisfied with the government's assurance and staged a walkout.