Mumbai: In an important step to improve Mumbai’s transport, the proposed 33.5-km Mumbai Metro-3 corridor got a boost as a major agreement was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday.

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) signed an agreement with the consortium led by AECOM Asia, Hong Kong (in a joint venture with Padeco, Japan, LBG Inc. USA and Egis Rail, France) as the General Consultants for the Metro-3 route. Signing the agreement were R Ramanna, Executive Director (Planning) MMRC, and Thomas Kam Sun Tang, Vice-President, AECOM. Padeco was represented by its directors Mototoshi Kakiuchi and Milan Dave.

“I am always optimistic when projects move ahead with the required urgency and this 33.5 km Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ [Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone] Metro-3 corridor is showing promise,” said the chief minister.

“Our aim is to complete this project within the scheduled time-frame.”

Speaking on the occasion, Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, MMRC, said, “The globally reputed General Consultants will be assisting MMRC during the entire implementation of this crucial project on various fronts and will provide the required impetus to the implementation of the Metro-3 corridor. Their expertise, technical knowhow and experience will help us complete the project in time.”

The consortium, selected from out of four international contenders, is expected to assist MMRC in all activities of Metro-3 project implementation. The scope of work identified for the general consultants would include evaluation of bids for civil work and assist in appointing contractors, review and proof checking of detailed designs, preparing tender design and documents for procurement of track work, rolling stock, system components, supervision of supply and installation, safety, quality and environmental aspects. The consultants will also finalise operation and maintenance manuals among others.

The Hong Kong-based AECOM is a premier, fully integrated professional and technical service firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world.

The third phase of the Metro corridor has been mired in controversy over problems of rehabilitation of people, especially in Kalbadevi and Girgaum. Several citizens groups had come out in protest over the metro line passing through Girgaum as well as against the construction of a depot in Aarey Colony.