Mumbai college writes to CM: Stop Metro-3 work to prevent further damage to heritage building
Principal says life of thousands of students and staff at riskmumbai Updated: Oct 02, 2017 22:17 IST
Siddharth college at Hutatma Chowk has complained that its building has been damaged by the ongoing construction of the underground Metro-3 [Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ].
The college management has written to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, asking him to stop the work on the Metro line which passes in front of the college building on DN Road, Fort.
The letter, which was sent to Fadnavis along with signatures of more than 100 staff, mentions fissures in the walls and pillars, crumbling plaster on ceilings and cracks in the basement.
“Life of thousands of students and staff is in danger here and despite repeated complaints about this problem to the authorities, no action has been taken as yet. My last resort was to reach out to the CM,” said Umaji Maske, principal of the college.
The letter also mentions how the college building, known as Anand Bhavan, is a Grade II heritage structure and work on the underground Metro line has affected the foundation of the building. The college was founded in 1956 by People’s Education Society, a trust founded by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution.
Apart from the damage to the building, teachers have y complained about constant noise of drilling that affects regular classes. “How are we to conduct classes when there’s so much noise through the day. On some days even the ground vibrates because of the drilling work which is when we have vacated classrooms to avoid any untoward incidents,” added Maske.
The letter has also been marked to other authorities, including the Ministry of Urban Development, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), BMC as well as the city mayor.
This is not the first time that the institute complained to authorities. Previously, following complaints by the institute, a team of experts were sent to the institute to check for structural damage to the college building if any, and the report was always clear. “They never checked classrooms in our basement and ignored the cracks on the walls completely. We cannot endanger the lives of thousands of students and staff because of the apathy of officials,” said Maske.
“Vibration levels are substantially lower than permissible levels and construction activities are carried out following requisite safety norms and no building at DN road is at risk. Further, we haven’t received any such notification from the college authorities. The college authorities can reach out to us for any clarifications,” said spokesperson from MMRC.