After a political uproar over the displacement of south Mumbai residents for the Metro 3 project stalled work, authorities are treading cautiously before starting the process of land acquisition formally.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation ( MMRC) has decided to take these residents into confidence, before sending formal notices to them. The MMRC will hold discussions with the residents in the first week of March.
“We are going to seek suggestions from the residents. We will discuss various options of redevelopment and rehabilitation (R&R) to clear all their doubts,” said Ashwini Bhide, MMRC managing director.
The 32.5-km Metro 3 stretches from Colaba to Seepz via Bandra and passes through areas such as Nariman Point, Cuffe Parade, Worli, BKC and airport, which are not connected by any suburban rail service.
Interestingly, MMRC had sent notices to residents at Cuffe Parade, Vidhan Bhavan and Hutatma Chowk without any consultation.
After reports of per manent demolition of buildings in Girgaum and Kalbadevi appeared in the news, a group of 50 Shiv Sena party workers had, last month, held a protest at Charni Road, opposing the demolition.
Subsequently, the MMRC had gone on the back foot. Now, anticipating resistance from locals, the authority has decided to hold discussions with them first.
According to sources, the residents are against relocating to other areas of the city during R&R.
Hence, the MMRC has come up with a cluster development scheme, in which affected residents will be given homes in the same area.
If MMRC implements cluster redevelopment by involving buildings in the surrounding areas, it will make more space available.
The MMRC is supposed to partly or completely demolish 26 buildings — 18 in Kalbadevi and eight in Girgaum — to make way for the construction of metro stations.
The authority is set to carry out R&R of 2,614 properties, of which, 1,889 are residential, while 603 are commercial buildings.