THE MUMBAI Metro Rail Corporation’s (MMRC) plan to make up for the delay in the construction of the Metro 3 corridor has necessitated the rehabilitation of 144 more families belonging to two housing societies near the proposed Girgaon station.
While initially, the corridor was scheduled to come up by June 2021, it is now delayed by at least six months. The MMRC now plans to reduce the use of the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) and increase the work done by ‘cut and cover’ method at the station. While the NATM technology involved tunneling from the road and going below the buildings to construct the station, the ‘cut and cover’ method will mean the demolition of the buildings and then constructing the station vertically.
“Earlier, a combination of NATM and ‘cut and cover’ method was planned for this station. Now, we have increased the cut and cover component and reduced the former. NATM technology takes more time and we have already lost a lot of time. We need to make up for the delay to avoid cost escalations,” said S K Gupta, MMRC Director (Projects).
The change in plan means that 144 families from two societies — Annapurna and Kranti Nagar Society — would have to be rehabilitated under the Girgaon Kalbadevi Redevelopment Plan. Under the redevelopment plan, MMRC proposes to provide such families new homes on the same land after Metro 3 has come up. In the meantime, they would be provided temporary rehabilitation or rented accommodations.
The Indian Express had reported on May 3 that the residents of Kranti Nagar Society had received a notice on April 24, informing them that they would be a part of the redevelopment plan. This was over two years after the other residents of the area had begun negotiations with MMRC.
On Thursday, the residents of the two societies held their first meeting with MMRC officials, where they were told that the change in technology was for their safety. “It will be unsafe for the building if we were to build a tunnel under it. So, we have decided to bring down the building and then construct it again later. This will also help reduce the length of the station by 60 metres,” said an engineer.
Moreover, the officials said that the land would not only be used for station work and rehabilitation of the affected families but also for commercial development. “After the station is constructed, the land will be used for station utilities, residential components and also for commercial structures,” said a senior MMRC official.
Prabhakar Samant, a resident, however, said: “If they plan to raise funds through commercial development, they must also share the profits with us. I can sense vested interests in this plan. They had promised us twice the area of our house, but some of our houses are as small as 100 metres… The slums get more area in rehabilitation.”