THE Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation may have opposed the allotment of 17 plots for the Metro Rail 3 project, but party offices of the Shiv Sena along with that of the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and a few others will be shifted out of Nariman Point by mid-October.
Officials from the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) said the party offices would be shifted to the ground and first floors of the office of a Mumbai Port Trust building in Ballard Estate. Other political parties whose offices will be relocated temporarily for the duration of the Metro Rail construction project include the Bharatiya Republican Party, the Bahujan Mahasangh, the Peasant and Workers Party, the Samajwadi Party and two others. Besides, 25 government offices will also be relocated to Ballard Estate.
“The Port Trust has been carrying out repairs, which will be completed by September-end. All these political parties’ offices will be shifted to Ballard Estate by mid-October as per the state government’s decision,” said MMRC Managing Director Ashwini Bhide. “The work on the Metro 3 project will start by October 1 as planned,” Bhide added.
However, MMRC officials said the shifting was temporary and the offices would return to Nariman Point after three years. Last week, after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the civic body to hand over 17 plots to the Metro 3 project, Shiv Sena leaders had said they would continue to oppose the project till the government came out with details of the rehabilitation of more than 600 families to be affected by the project.
Also, the state’s public works department (PWD) has permanently allotted 147 square metre area of Manora MLA hostel and another 562 sq m underground area for the Metro project. Officials from the MMRC said since it was a high profile building, they required 147 sq m for the entry and exit of the Metro station, though the MLA hostel would remain intact.
The 33.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro is touted to be Mumbai’s first and the country’s longest underground Metro Rail corridor, estimated to cost Rs 23,136 crore. Political parties are willing to move out of their current office for the project but have been reluctant to shift out of Nariman Point, one of Mumbai’s prime locations.