FOLLOWING THE order by the state government to the civic body to hand over 17 plots to the Metro 3 project, Shiv Sena leaders said they will continue to oppose the project till the government comes out with the details of the rehabilitation of more than 600 families who are likely to be displaced.
The Shiv Sena-led BMC, with the support of the Congress, had already rejected the proposal twice to hand over the plots to Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC). However, the state exercised its powers to arrange the transfer of plots to the MMRC.
“In this year, the state government has not held a single meeting with the families or their representatives. If any attempt is made to implement the project forcefully on the residents, we will surely oppose the project and will not let it happen till the issues of residents are resolved,” said Pandurang Sakpal, a Shiv Sena leader from South Mumbai.
Sakpal added that the residents are not aware of the rehabilitation plans. “The residents want to see the rehabilitation plan, otherwise how can they leave their houses?” he said.
The Shiv Sena says its opposition to Metro 3 is to protect the rights of the Marathi-speaking people in danger of being displaced, mainly in areas around Girgaum. In January, the Improvements Committee headed by the BJP passed the proposal to hand over 7,796-square metre of land spread across 17 different locations in the city to MMRC for the construction of the fully underground Metro 3. The plots include prominent open spaces, gardens, parking lots and land for a fire brigade centre. They will be used to construct metro stations, ventilation shafts, and godowns, among others.
“Since it’s a state government decision, we will take action accordingly,” said a senior civic official. The MMRC officials said that BMC will have to hand over the plots at the earliest so the work can start in October as per the deadline set by the government.