After reserving a Malvani plot for a Metro car shed, the state government has now decided to set aside another plot in Mankhurd for the same purpose, having decided to split the much-delayed Dahisar-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro into three projects.
The state urban development department issued a notice dated June 20, inviting suggestions and objections to its decision to remove the plot at Mandale, Mankhurd, from the residential zone and reserve it for a Metro car depot, commercial and allied use instead. Similarly, the government has also decided to reserve a 20-hectare plot at Malvani, Malad, for a Metro car shed. This was earlier reserved for a recreation ground, government staff quarters and offices, a court and an educational complex.
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A senior official with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said, “The Mankhurd plot was always under consideration for a Metro car shed. The reservation, however, was not formally changed until now as we were earlier planning the Metro as a single corridor. But now with the line split into phases, we will need the Malvani plot, as well as the Mankhurd plot, for the car shed.”
The corridor was initially planned nearly seven years ago as a 32 km Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd elevated Metro. But after major impediments in constructing the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro as an elevated corridor, the erstwhile Congress-NCP state government proposed to build the line underground and extend it to Dahisar. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis gave a formal approval to the plan after taking over as the MMRDA chairman late last year, but changed plans later, deciding to construct the stretch as an elevated line in three phases.
Accordingly, the Dahisar-Andheri and Bandra-Mankhurd stretches would be taken up for construction first with their car depots being at Malvani and Mandale, respectively, the MMRDA official said.
Like the Malvani plot, the land at Mankhurd, which was earlier given to the social forestry directorate, lies vacant, he added. The plots are also outside the Coastal Regulation Zone, relieving concerns of any restrictions on construction such as those that had stalled the erstwhile Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd for years.
The project was stuck despite former President Pratibha Patil having performed its bhoomipujan and though it had a green nod, it came with riders necessitating construction on stilts and prohibiting washing and maintenance activities, making the plot non-viable as a car shed.