Citizen groups are now planning to file a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding a re-examination of the proposed Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (CBM) elevated Metro line.
They are demanding an independent study be conducted to look at the benefits of an elevated Metro line as against an underground one.
The move comes in the wake of the Hindustan Times report on the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority Region’s (MMRDA) acceptance that construction of underground Metro lines are more beneficial for the city.
The HT had reported on June 9 that the MMRDA, after years of opposing the underground Metro project, has finally decided to undertake a policy change and construct underground Metro lines in dense parts of Mumbai.
The MMRDA had however decided that the CBM line would be elevated as it has already signed a concession agreement with Reliance Infrastructure. Construction is about to begin.
Citizen groups in the Andheri-Bandra stretch have been complaining that an elevated Metro line would be detrimental for the city and have been demanding an underground one.
“We are in discussions with lawyers and will be filling a PIL against the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd line,” activist Hemu Upadhyay said.
Activists like Nitin Killwala have also raised concerns about the agreement that the state has entered into with Reliance for building the CBM line, claiming it is against public interest.
Under the present agreement, the state government cannot create any other transport system that could be a business threat to the CBM project.
No new Metro or any other system of transport can come up in the vicinity of the CBM project for the next 20 years. MMRDA officials claim that this has been done to ensure a profitable business for those concessionaries who invested in the elevated line.
The MMRDA has decided build a completely underground Metro line from the less populated areas of Colaba to Bandra, but has been stonewalling demands for an underground system in the densely populated Charkop Bandra stretch.