Metro II: residents’ proposal for underground stretch under scrutiny

The nodal agency for the implementation of the second metro rail corridor has sent the proposal for an underground stretch between Andheri and Bandra...

Written by Swapnil Rawal | Mumbai | Published:March 29, 2009 4:11 am

The nodal agency for the implementation of the second metro rail corridor has sent the proposal for an underground stretch between Andheri and Bandra,presented by residents protesting against the project,for evaluation by an independent consultant.

The “conceptual plan” proposes an underground section of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor from ESIC Nagar in Andheri to Bandra.

According to these citizen activists,the over-ground metro corridor will affect hundreds of structures. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has asked an independent consultant to scrutinise the plan before forwarding it to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation,its principal consultant.

“We’ve asked Louis Berger Group to scrutinise the plan. They will come up with a feasibility report,” said Ratnakar Gaikwad,Metropolitan Commissioner. The study will look into the technical feasibility,financial viability and the impact of the alternative design on the pace of implementation of the corridor.

The economic slump has affected the implementation of the 32-km corridor as none of the seven interested consortia had submitted financial bids for the Rs 6,192-crore project. However,the MMRDA is hopeful of getting a few responses by April 30,the fourth extended date to submit bids. The MMRDA is also contemplating to fund the project in case no bidders come forward.

On the other hand,the residents of areas like JVPD,Santacruz,Khar and Linking Road are conducting their own detailed study into the plan proposed by their core committee. “We’re conducting our own detailed micro plan for the eight-km underground stretch in association with IIT,Mumbai,” said Nitin Killawala,member of the residents’ committee.

According to them,an elevated metro corridor will affect hundreds of structures. “As per our calculation,from ESIC Nagar to Bandra,there are over 153 structures that will be affected. At some places,the staircases marked on maps of the planning agency fall in the frontage of the buildings or commercial structures,” said Killawala,who is also an architect.

The residents want the government to scrap the tendering process and come up with another funding model and incorporate the underground section. “The MMRDA has sent us a letter saying that its consultants are evaluating the proposed plan,but it hasn’t given us any time frame within which it will be done. The MMRDA should discontinue the bidding process for the time being,” Killawala said.

According to him,the MMRDA is avoiding the underground section mainly owing to its cost factor,but it is neglecting the social cost an elevated corridor will incur.

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