An expert committee has recommended building the metro car depot for the proposed Metro 3 project to Kanjurmarg, but there are still chances that it may come up at Aarey Colony.
In its recommendations, the chief minister-appointed committee suggested that a double-deck depot at Aarey Colony may be a viable option in case state government is unable to acquire the Kanjurmarg land, which is under litigation.
After studying nine sites across the city, the committee, headed by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioner UPS Madan, found three sites feasible — Kanjurmarg, Backbay Reclamation, Aarey Colony — to build the Metro 3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) car depot.
“The committee recommends that in case the land at Kanjurmarg is not made available for some reason, then the modified layout of a full service double-deck depot at Aarey Colony near the present site may be considered,” said one of the recommendations.
The double-deck car depot can be constructed on 20.82 hectares of the 30 hectares land earmarked for the project. It will also result in 446 trees being axed instead of the initial 2,298.
The double-deck facility, however, will increase the project cost by Rs750 crore, but it can be constructed without any uncertainty, the report said.
The panel stated that the land in Kanjurmarg was the most feasible alternative, and suggested that metro depot on the land be used for both Metro 3 and the JVLR- Kanjurmarg metro lines.
The committee cautioned the state government that the Metro 3 project may get delayed if the decision to hand over the land in Kanjurmarg to the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), the nodal agency for the project, is not taken in three months.
On suggestions from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the committee also recommended use of both Aarey Colony and Kanjurmarg lands for operational efficiency.
“Another option will be to provide the main depot with stabling line and workshop at Kanjurmarg and with limited stabling facilities at Aarey Colony. By this option, intervention in Aarey can be minimised without compromising the operational requirements of the system. By adopting this option, substantial increase in cost can also be avoided,” the report said.
Backbay Reclamation will have more environmental implications because of reclamation in sea, loss of 3.2 hectares of mangrove cover and significant rehabilitation of project-affected people, the report said.