Mumbai Metro Rail is planning a heritage line for Colaba-Bandra-Seepz corridor. It will be similar to one proposed in Delhi from Kashmere Gate to Central Secretariat,which recently got NOC from National Monuments Authority.
MMRDA,in consultation with conservationists and the Metro Rail construction team,is trying lend the underground line a heritage character. It is looking at options such as juxtaposing modern elements with the fabric of nearby heritage structures and replicating the feel of structures/precincts at Metro stations.
From Cuffe Parade to Bandra,the Rs 24,500-crore Metro Line-3 with 27 underground stations will pass under heritage structures such as CST (a UNESCO site),Flora Fountain and the art decco of Marine Drive heritage precinct.
The line will be at least 100 metres from the heritage sites/structures over it.
Additional metropolitan commissioner S V R Srinivas of MMRDA said: The metro line can only be built once. After we build the path,we cannot change it. We will go 20 metres underground so that most of the rail line is out of sight. It is only the entry-exit points of stations that are posing a problem. We plan to incorporate the architectural style prevalent in the precinct. A large team of experts and conservationists is working on the plan.
He said other parts of the rail corridor were also being studied since Dharavi fort,Mahim fort and Worli fort fell under the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India are in the vicinity of rail alignment.
MMRDA has roped in conservation architect and Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee member Abha Narain Lambah as a design consultant.
Designs for the corridor passing through these areas are of international standard,similar to what you would find in Europe,around the ancient precincts of Greece. We are still discussing design possibilities. An option is to use the stone masonry work or architectural characteristics of neighbouring historic structures with modern elements such as glass and steel,which will be designed to fit well into the fabric, said Abha.
While MMRDA has already planned higher fares for the underground line (14-15 per cent higher than that for the elevated rail corridors),ticket costs will not be hiked further on account of this project.
MMRDA will bear all additional costs,this has been budgeted in the cost of the project. Designs for these stations are purely for the purpose of appreciating the citys heritage, said Srinivas.