A Hanuman temple in Kurla stands in the way of Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR). Ten other religious structures have been moved for the much-delayed project but this one is taking time.
Its trust has agreed to demolition of the temple and to move the deity to a new structure to be built by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC),the project implementing authority. But,an official said,MSRDC was still negotiating compensation.
Another official said,We identified a plot near the Netaji Nagar buildings in Kurla and MSRDC started constructing a structure for the temple to shift. However,local residents are opposing the relocation. They want the space to be used for a pumping house.
There has been a stalemate over the Hanuman temple for nearly a year now. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA),the nodal agency for the project,demolished two of the five buildings in Netaji Nagar Housing Society for the 6.45-km SCLR after a long-drawn court battle. It decided to accommodate the temple on a small patch at the site of the demolished buildings.
They are shifting the temple right next to our pumping house. They are saying the pumping house cannot be enclosed as there should be an approach road to the temple. The pumping house needs to be enclosed is all we are saying, said Sudhir Pandhare,secretary of Netaji Nagar Housing Union.
Pandhare,who used to live in one of the two demolished buildings,said MMRDA was still to start work on permanent residences it promised for the project-affected.
They made promises and razed our buildings. There is a lot of resentment among Netaji Nagar residents and none of us feels like cooperating with the authority now, he added.
MMRDA expects to complete construction of SCLR,which will have the citys first double-decked bridge,next year. The project,which began nine years ago,has seen a three-fold rise in cost to Rs 435 crore from the original Rs 115 crore.