The second corridor of the Mumbai Metro that aims to connect Charkop in the west suburbs to Mankhurd in the eastern suburbs has hit an environmental road block.
And, your ride on this route is likely to get delayed.
The central expert appraisal committee on Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) and infrastructure projects has not granted Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) permission to set up car depots for the Metro rakes on the proposed site at both the ends at Charkop or Mankhurd.
The minutes of the committee meeting, held on July 21, says that car depots requiring 19.69 hectares and 24 hectares at Charkop and Mankhurd respectively along with workshop activities should be relocated to non-CRZ areas.
The MMRDA had proposed that car depots will be built on stilts to avoid any damage to mangroves.
The committee has given its clearance for the elevated Metro line passing through mangroves at Charkop and Mankhurd but on stringent conditions.
The committee said: "The construction activities for proposed Metro lines on stilts should be carried out without destruction /damaging the mangroves and not disturbing the free flow of water in the creek."
The committee also asked MMRDA to complete rehabilitation component of the project before starting work.
The planning agency has to take separate clearance from the forest ministry because the site is classified as a mangrove forest and also complete promised afforestation work.
The task on hand for MMRDA is considerable given that they have not yet started any work for rehabilitation of Project Affected Persons here.
The authority will also have to complete compensatory afforestation at proposed Ecological and Conservation Zone at Monori, Gorai, Uttan region spread across 500 hectares before implementation of the project.
"We will carry out the work as per the regulations. We are in talks with the forest department to get clearance for the project. We will undertake the rehabilitation of the affected persons simultaneously with the construction. There won’t be any delays," said a senior MMRDA official.
The EAC approval process for the car depots has been on since July 2009.
(Inputs from Zeeshan Shaikh)