The Metro project seems to be entangled in a web of problems. After being hit by the economic slump the project is now facing opposition from the residents of Charkop where the proposed depot for the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor is to come up.
Of the 20 hectares of land required by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for the project the agency owns 12 hectares while the slum dwellers reside on 8 hectares of the land. This includes slums like Sanjay Nagar,Lalji Pada,Gandhi Nagar,Ekta Nagar and Janta colony.
There are other sites in the city where the depot can be constructed. Constructing the depot at the Charkop site would mean displacing more than 30,000 families. Many of them also have small scale businesses, said BJPs Ram Naik,a strong contender for the Lok Sabha from the north Mumbai constituency (the proposed depot site is in the same constituency). He suggested that the site for the depot can be shifted to Dahisar where the MMRDA is expected to construct a Metro line in the future .
Unless,the issue is not discussed at the chief ministerial level we shall not allow the MMRDA officials to conduct a survey of the plot, Naik said. We have sent three letters to the Chief Minister but have received no response, he added. In December the residents of the area had blocked the roads in protest of the project.
Earlier the MMRDA failed to receive any bids for the second corridor. It has now extended the deadline by a month and has asked for fresh bids. The MMRDA has already made it clear that the depot will be built on the same site and the people there would be rehabilitated.