Locals from Juhu, Bandra and Khar marched from Bandra Talao to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) headquarters in Bandra-Kurla Complex in protest against the elevated Charkop-Bandra Metro route on Monday. They alleged that the project was a sell-out to private companies.
Following the protest march, the MMRDA agreed to consider their suggestions in a meeting on November 9 and put them before the appointed consultants. Protesting under a joint body called the Movement for Underground Movement (MUM), around 150 people gheraoed the MMRDA office, demanding a redressal of their grievances.
Sherley Singh, a resident of Juhu said, “The MMRDA wants to sell out to private companies and offer them commercial space to exploit. This is the real reason why the MMRDA wants to build only elevated routes.”
Oshiwara resident and activist Kunickaa Lall said that the MMRDA shouldn’t behave like a profit-making body. “There has to be a human face to development. You can’t plan according to the funds you have.”
MMRDA metropolitan commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad dismissed the protest and said, “We are very clear that an underground metro is not feasible either financially or technically. We had planned to have the Colaba-Bandra route as an underground one, but that too had to be shelved because the Centre refused the funds.”
“We can’t stall the progress of 20 lakh people just because people occupying a 2-km stretch are protesting.”
The protestors met GR Madan, director (Mass Rapid Transit System) who said: “They have some technical suggestions for us about the underground Metro. We plan to call our consultants and see whether the suggestions are feasible or not.”