After Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis approved the rehabilitation and redevelopment plan for Girgaum and Kalbadevi residents affected by the construction of Metro 3, they raised their demand of ‘key against key’ with Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) officials.
The residents insisted that they would vacate their current spaces only when they were satisfactorily rehabilitated. They raised the slogan of chabi ke against chabi to stress their point.
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The MMRC offered them the option of temporary accommodation in either MHADA’s Pimpalwadi site, moving into a place of choice where the MMRC pays the rent or accommodation at Andheri or Wadala during the time of construction. But the residents said they did not want a temporary arrangement.
“We have been living in this area for years now. We do not want the hassles of shifting from one place to another every few years. My mother-in-law is over 91 years old and it will be very tough for us to shift with her,” said Shubhada Vichare, a resident of Girgaum.
The officials assured them their permanent rehabilitation would be in and around 400-500 metres of their current location – while residents would be provided up to 405 sqft area, commercial spaces would get 20 per cent more than existing areas. They also promised that the Metro construction and rehabilitation would run concurrently.
But the residents said the Metro construction would damage their buildings, many of which are over 100 years old. The MMRC assured that any damage to the buildings during and until six months of construction would be entirely its responsibility. As a precaution, it has categorised 20-25 high-risk buildings that will be constantly monitored for any damage.
To people’s complaint of lack of interaction with officials, R Ramana, Executive Director of Planning, promised an information centre at the construction site with the numbers of all officials. The residents suggested that a complex be built at Kamaniwadi where both commercial spaces and residents can be rehabilitated.