After securing sources for financing the fully-underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro corridor,the development authority implementing the project is now focusing its attention on the land acquisition and rehabilitation procedure of residents to be displaced by the Metro.
According to initial estimates,the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has identified about 1,000 families that would be affected by the project. These would be mostly around the stations planned on the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro line,which is the third Metro planned for the city.
The project-affected people are mostly in slum areas,but a few in commercial structures and residential buildings will also need to be resettled for the project, SVR Srinivas,Additional Metropolitan Commissioner,said.
Still,considering the route of the Metro,the number of project-affected people is on the lower side and this is only because the line is fully underground. Had it been an elevated Metro,then the number of people to be displaced would have been 10 times more, Srinivas said,adding most of the displacement would be in areas in and around MIDC and Marol.
The MMRDA is also getting a social impact assessment report done,which is scheduled to be completed within the next 10 days. The agency will start a formal dialogue with the people,to be impacted by the project,after the report is ready.
Once the report is ready,the MMRDA will also have a public hearing in April to take note of all the suggestions and objections of citizens on the social impact of the project. The 33.5-kilometre long corridor would be built at a cost of Rs 21,000 crore and will have 27 stations.
Meanwhile,the MMRDA has finished the environment impact assessment for the project and is working on finalising an agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),which would be providing a loan to fund 50 per cent of the project cost. The final project report has been dispatched to JICA after approvals from the state and central governments.
The MMRDA is also planning to appoint RITES as an interim consultant for the Metro and hopes to finalise the contract for the corridor and start work early next year.