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Last Updated : Mar 23, 2015 10:16 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Roadblocks for Mumbai metro: Rehabilitation key concern

MMRC will have to contend with Opposition to demolish around 750 apartments in around 18 buildings, mostly around Girgaon and Kalbadevi. MMRC is working overtime to placate these apartment owners and tenants.


The Devendra Fadnavis government's dream of giving Mumbai its first operational underground metro line by 2020 has hit roadblocks even before work has begun. The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) is fighting to bring the Rs 23,000 crore third-phase of the Mumbai Metro project on track.


Problems with funding have been solved, with Rs 13,235 crore loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. But the corporation says there are still three major roadblocks ahead, and any one of them could throw a spanner in the works.


The first is that MMRC will have to contend with Opposition to demolish around 750 apartments in around 18 buildings, mostly around Girgaon and Kalbadevi. MMRC is working overtime to placate these apartment owners and tenants.

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Ashwini Bhide, MD, MMRC said, “Our total land requirement for this project is around 39 hectares, which is much less looking at the magnitude of this project. We have tried our best to adopt such construction methodologies, by which our land requirement is at the minimum. While doing that we need, out of 39 hectares we need only 11 hectares for permanent purpose.”


In addition, the rehabilitation plan being finalised proposes giving apartment owners accommodation in the vicinity of their current homes.


The second major issue, and the one that has received most publicity, is the construction of a metro crashed on 75 acres situated inside Aarey colony in Goregaon. Here, MMRC believes the environmental concerns being raised are misplaced.


According to an official, there are four possible locations for the shed, the Mahalaxmi Race Course, the Kalina University Campus, a portion of Bandra Kurla Complex, and the Aarey colony. However, only this colony can support a full-fledged depot. But the protests have forced the state government to institute a special committee to study the issue.


The third key issue is slum rehabilitation. The metro line will require the demolition of around 1,750 slum structures. But, MMRC is confident that its rehabilitation offer will be accepted.


Bhide further said that all these slum structures will be rehabilitated in the nearby vicinity and are given a free house of about 269 square feet and commercial area of the equivalent size.


Meanwhile, the MMRC has invited tenders for the construction of the third phase of the Mumbai metro project, which has been divided into seven parts.


Bids are to be submitted by April 21, and work on all seven parts is expected to begin simultaneously. So if all goes to plan, the project should be up and running within five years from the start of construction.


But, if things continue as they stand today, the Maharashtra CM’s dream of seeing an underground metro by 2020 may just go up in smoke.



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First Published on Mar 23, 2015 10:04 pm
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