Amidst uproar over deforestation of Aarey Colony for the Metro 3 project, the authorities are looking for alternatives to build the depot.
According to officials, Dharavi can be an ideal spot as the Metro passes through Dharavi and huge chunk of land can be easily acquired. If sources are to be believed, the issue of construction of the depot in Dharavi was discussed when the Metro plan was being finalised.
“Dharavi is at the centre of the Metro line, which makes it more suitable for technical operations. The proposal was dropped, citing substantial cost involved in rehabilitation and resettlement. Land acquisition can be carried out easily as the area is already earmarked for redevelopment,” said a source close to the development.
Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) managing director Ashwini Bhide said, “We are looking at various alternatives for the depot. However, Dharavi does not seem feasible.”
Meanwhile, activists and experts also expressed their support to the plan of depot in Dharavi. Transport expert Jitendra Gupta said, “This will also ensure smoother and faster redevelopment of the slums in the area. In addition, the authorities can use the same land for the Metro 2 project depot.”
Few years ago, the authorities had narrowed down on various land pockets including Mumbai University’s Kalina campus, a slum area in Colaba, Mahalaxmi racecourse, along with option of reclamation of land in Colaba002E
In addition, they had discussed the plan of constructing an underground depot if land was not available. Environmentalists have also suggested use of Mumbai Port Trust land for the depot.