Citizens’ march to go on despite MMRDA stand
A day after Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad ruled out the possibility of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd line of the Metro rail going underground, resident groups continue to be optimistic about the protest march to be held on Sunday morning.mumbai Updated: Sep 19, 2010 00:50 IST
A day after Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad ruled out the possibility of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd line of the Metro rail going underground, resident groups continue to be optimistic about the protest march to be held on Sunday morning.
“For the Metro to be partially underground, we need to construct a ramp from where it can go from elevated to underground and vice versa. We are not getting any such patch in Andheri and Bandra. So, it is impossible to construct an underground Metro on this stretch,” Gaikwad had said on Friday.
Gaikwad said that building an underground line would cost an additional Rs 56,000 crore and the state coffers would not be able to “withstand this pressure”.
Protesting locals have criticised Gaikwad's statement. Bandra-based activist Vidya Vaidya said: “I think Gaikwad’s stand on the issue is ridiculous. You cannot develop infrastructure based on the funds you have. You have to have the funds to get you the best possible infrastructure.”
Dissecting Gaikwad's statement, Juhu-based architect Nitin Killawala said: “Claims that the MMRDA cannot find space for switch-over ramps, which are about 1.5 km stretch at either end, for the underground Metro. It is ironic then that he is ready to destroy longer stretches of roads in the western suburbs.”
Activist Medha Patkar too has slammed the project, for the displacement of people it would cause at the site of the Charkop car shed.
Juhu activist Sherley Singh condemned the authorities’ attitude saying: “The MMRDA is behaving like our colonial masters and not even trying to listen to the locals’ demands and suggestions.”
“We had submitted an alternate plan to the MMRDA, which suggested that if they had to make it elevated, they should have avoided congested roads such as the Linking Road and taken other routes. They have not even bothered to reply yet,” Khar’s Aftab Siddiqui said.
"We'll ensure that such protests continue to raise awareness about the disaster that an elevated Metro line can be,” Vaidya said. Singh added: “I want to ask the authorities - on the road outside their houses, they should try and imagine a four-storey building, at every 1 km, of the route. Will they be able to live with it?”
The 32-km long route passes through parts of Juhu as well as the congested Linking Road in Santacruz, Khar and Bandra (W).