The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) on Wednesday moved an application before the High Court Committee seeking permission to work through the night for the next two months at the Metro 3 station site at Cuffe Parade. After Wednesday’s hearing of the MMRC application, the petitioners, residents of south Mumbai, taking exception to the noise pollution caused due to Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ underground Metro work at Cuffe Parade, in the evening met Advocate General A A Kumbhakoni to discuss resolution of the issue.
The Committee, comprising of Justice S S Khemkar and Justice B R Gavai, is likely to meet the petitioners and MMRC on Thursday. The application seeks permission for carrying out activities relating to the tunnel boring machine (TBM), including transportation of parts from the dockyard at Chamar Godi to the Cuffe Parade area, where it is to be lowered and taken underground, for assembling it at the Cuffe Parade area at night.
The application moved by MMRC says: “Keeping in view the entire topography of the area, the condition, more particularly the width, of the road and the traffic condition, that connect the Mumbai port to the concerned area of the Cuffe Parade, it is needless to state that it is impossible to carry out the exercise of transportation during any time of the day.” “…exercise will have to be carried out during he night time only, in view of the requisite movement of low bed trailers containing material having huge dimensions, which occupy slightly more than two existing lanes of the road. The task of unloading and lowering of the TBM and its parts will require installation as also operation of high capacity cranes and the mobilization and positioning of such cranes is also a critical task which would require the task to be performed during night time only,” the application said.
In December 2017, the Bombay High Court had directed a two-member committee, comprising sitting High Court judges, to hear a matter pertaining to noise pollution allegedly caused due to the ongoing Metro III project at Cuffe Parade. A petition filed by advocate Robin Jaisinghani, opposing the project on several grounds such as excessive noise caused due to the metro work disturbing the residents of Cuffe Parade.
MMRC stated that the Metro line-3 Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ project underground corridor comprises of design and construction of underground station at Cuffe Parade, Vidhan Bhavan, Churchgate and Hutatma Chowk and associated bored tunnels together with two tunnels sidings at Cuffe Parade.
It further says it involves two underground tunnels of approximately 3 km each with finished diameter of 5.8 meters internal diameter. These two twin tunnels have to be built using the TBM.
The application further says that for constructing the tunnels L&T has procured two state-of-art TBMs from the US. These two machines are manufactured in China and are being shipped to Mumbai via Singapore. MMRC stated that the work of tunnel excavation will commence from Cuffe Parade, where the TBM launching shaft is located. The TBM is suitable for drilling hard rock which is present in South Mumbai area. MMRC further said the first TBM was being transported from China to Mumbai port on Wednesday morning.
MMRC application states that considering the size, shapes, weights of the items, safety of these machines and all other logistics, they will have to be off loaded from the vessel directly on the transport vehicle carrying the same directly to the spot from Cuffe Parade area through high capacity vehicles.
The application states that 24 trailers will be required for the purpose of transportation of these TBM parts to the Cuffe Parade area from the port. The application said for the safety of the general public, using the road during the day time, “it will be dangerous to carry out the activities during the day time.”
“Any delay caused in this regard is going to adversely and deeply affect the public exchequer,” the application said.
After unloading parts of TBM and transporting it on the site, the assembling exercise will have to be carried out and all of this will be only done during the night time. The application says that it is no possible to do it during the day. The application says from June 9 to July 31 the TBM assembling will be carried out.