While the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) had assured residents that they would receive a copy of the Pre-Construction Building Condition Survey Report, an RTI request reveals that residents will have to pay Rs 180 to access it now. The MMRC contractors conducted the pre-construction survey for buildings that will come inside the 50 metre buffer area from either side of the Metro 3 tunnel to ascertain any risk to them due to its construction.
The contractors hired Encardio-rite Electronics Pvt Ltd to conduct the survey, which was done by taking photographs and using measuring instruments both inside and outside the buildings. Based on the survey results, some buildings were to receive monitoring instruments to keep a check on the effect of the vibrations on the building structures. While seeking an NOC from the residents for the survey, they gave it in writing that a copy of the report will be provided to them.
In April, over a 100 houses were surveyed in Marol where the cracks in the structure were photographed. However, when Marol resident Godfrey Pimenta did not receive the report after two months, he filed an RTI request only to find out that he will have to pay Rs 180 to access it. “We were told that we will receive the report within 30 days of the survey. But when I did not receive it even by the end of May I filed an RTI. Now, I will have to pay the amount to access the report of my building. This kind of fee is totally unjustified. The note mentions that it will be provided to us. Then how can they make money out of it?” asks Pimenta.
Other residents living along the alignment were also asked to sign the NOC. However, after the survey was conducted in April they are yet to receive their report. “Our societies have been following up with the contractor for the survey report for over a month now, but they keep pushing dates. If they have found something in the report then we have a right to know. They cannot be hiding these details from us,” said Robin Jaisinghani, a Cuffe Parade resident living near the station site.
The survey was conducted in Girgaum-Kalbadevi as well. But the residents did not push for the report as they felt their buildings were going to be demolished anyway. “They had conducted a survey for our buildings as well. But when we did not receive the report, we did not follow up as our buildings are anyway going to be demolished for the construction of the metro stations,” said Guru Kumar Shetye. MMRC officials were unavailable for comment.