Adamant on its decision to build a car depot for the Mumbai Metro project on 49 acres of the Mahalaxmi Race Course, the planning agency said it would use a the cut-and-cover construction technique.
A cut-and-cover is a simple construction technique for shallow tunnels where a trench is excavated and roofed over.
"Our efforts will ensure that neither the races nor the stables are disturbed,” said Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad. "We are seeking permission to dig below 49 acres of the 225-acre race course. People should not be worried if races don’t take place for a couple of seasons," he added.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has planned nine Metro corridors across the city to take some of the pressure off the trains and the roads, while improving east-west connectivity in Mumbai.
One of proposed corridors is the 20-km Colaba-Bandra Metro line — 10 km will be built underground between Colaba and Mahalaxmi and the rest will be an elevated stretch between Mahalaxmi and Bandra.
Earlier, the MMRDA had planned to build the 49-acre car depot at Colaba on reclaimed land. But when it learnt that the idea was unfeasible, they decided to construct the depot underneath the race course stables. The MMRDA has sent the proposal seeking permission for the same to the state government and municipal corporation.
Owned by the municipal body, the race course land has been leased to the Royal Western India Turf Club until 2013.