To ensure integration between the proposed Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro and the city’s public bus transport service, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) will develop two large plots at SEEPZ and Mahalaxmi adjacent to Metro stations to build bus terminuses.
The MMRC will also use a portion of this land for commercial exploitation, the revenue from which would be shared with the BEST and utilized to fund the Rs 23,136-crore project, which is one of the city’s most expensive infrastructure works. Besides, the MMRC will also develop a BEST plot at Hutatma Chowk for an entry and exit to the Metro station underground in an otherwise land-starved area.
Sanjay Sethi, managing director of MMRC, said, “We have identified plots belonging to the BEST at SEEPZ, right above the Metro station that will come up there, at Ambika Mills near Mahalaxmi which will be close to the Science Museum Metro station, and a third at Hutatma Chowk. We will include these works in the tender for the construction of the Metro. The BEST has presented this proposal in front of its committee. The MMRC also approved this in its board meeting on Saturday.”
The 33.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro will be fully underground and will have 27 stations. The project is currently under tendering process.
The terminus at SEEPZ will be on a 4,904-sqm plot belonging to BEST, adjoining a 785-sqm plot of the civic body. It will have nine to ten bus bays, a staff restroom, ticket counters for the Metro and an entry and exit to the Metro station. The Metro station at SEEPZ will be exactly below the plot on which the bus terminus is to be constructed.
Besides, the MMRC will also construct a podium and underground parking, a recreational ground and a 14-storey building for commercial use, the proceeds from which it will share with BEST, Sethi said.
Apart from this land, the MMRC is also planning to raise finances from the commercial exploitation of a 3-hectare plot at Aarey, where the Metro car depot is proposed to be built.
The BEST plot at Ambika Mills has an area of 4,762 sqm and will accommodate the bus terminus, ticketing facilities and an entry and exit to the nearby Science Museum Metro station through a subway.
“The land at Ambika Mills is a little away from the proposed Science Museum Metro station. We have decided to construct a pedestrian underpass of 300 metres to reach the bus terminus from the Metro station,” Sethi added.
BEST’s Hutatma Chowk land, on the other hand, will be used to provide an entry and exit staircase to the Hutatma Chowk Metro station. Without this land, the MMRC does not have any space to construct a staircase to the Hutatma Chowk Metro station, which is flanked by heritage buildings on all sides.
“We are otherwise providing access to this station by elevators on three sides, but to comply with fire norms and in cases of emergency, we need to provide access to the station by a staircase. The BEST has agreed to let us use the plot for this purpose,” Sethi said.
Accordingly, the MMRC will construct a three-storey building on this plot and shift the BEST sub-station that currently occupies this plot on the first level. The rest of the building will be available to the BEST for administrative use. The MMRC plans to incorporate certain aspects of the heritage buildings in the area for it to blend in the precinct, Sethi said.