The demand of resident welfare associations in south Delhi for an underground Metro corridor from Jungpura to Nehru Place has suffered a severe setback. On Friday, the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Pranab Mukherjee examining the demand decided that the Metro line would be elevated — as per the original plan — in view of time and cost constraints.
Sources in the Union Urban Development Ministry said the residents’ complaints that an elevated corridor would cause noise pollution was taken into consideration. Accordingly, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been asked to undertake measures to curb noise pollution, they added.
The residents’ petition is pending in the Delhi High Court. The GoM’s decision would be placed before the court on February 5, the next date of hearing, ministry officials said.
Rajiv Kakria, who represents the petitioning RWAs, said residents’ interests were being sacrificed for the Commonwealth Games. “The court is our only hope now,” he said.
The residents’ front had earlier written to the GoM, questioning DMRC’s claim that making the Metro underground from Jungpura to Nehru Place would cost Rs 850 crore. “When the entire 6.1 km (underground) stretch from Central Secretariat to Jungpura cost Rs 893 crore, how can going underground for another 4.4 km cost Rs 850 crore more?” they asked. They had also pointed out that the Metro website itself says that going elevated occupies too much space and affects future expansion plans of a city.
In November, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit too had written to the GoM, endorsing their demand.