Main hurdle in path of Metro 3: No clarity on rehabilitation plan

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 19, 2015 19:55 IST

While the protest march by residents during the Girgaum Bandh on Wednesday was peaceful, anti-government sentiments were seen running high.

About 400 residents of Girgaum, Chirabazar and Kalbadevi started the march from the Parsi Fire Temple on JSS road at 10am, raising slogans against the state government. They demanded it come clean on its plan to rehabilitate people who will lose their homes for the Metro 3 project.

While many expressed readiness to vacate their homes, they said they should be given new homes before being evacuated.

“If the state government is planning to give us bigger homes, we are ready to vacate our homes. However, it should give us the new houses before we move out, as we are afraid we might end up living in transit camps for years,” said Vidya Shinde, whose home will be demolished for the project.

Chief minister Devendra Fadanvis had announced bigger house for the metro projectaffected people on Monday, but the Girgaum Bachao Sangharsh Kruti Samiti decided to go ahead with the bandh.

All traders in the area kept their shops shut till 6pm to support the bandh. Several Shiv Sena leaders and party workers were a part of it.

Convener of the committee and Sena leader Pandurang Sapkal said: “People ask us why we are opposing the metro project when Sena is a part of the government. We are helpless as the chief minister has not cleared things related to rehabilitation.”

Not to be left behind, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers distributed pamphlets among the local residents and asked them to register their objections, which will be conveyed to Raj Thackeray. Although Congress had extended its support to the bandh, it was conspicuous by its absence during the march.

None of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) official could be reached for the comment.

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