The proactive role officials of the chief minister’s office (CMO) seem to be playing in deciding Mumbai’s metro projects has not gone down well with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
Senior MMRDA officials said bureaucrats at the Mantralaya are proposing changes in the metro routes or announcing new decisions – such as linking Metro 3 with the coastal road – without taking them into confidence.
“We got to know about the proposal to merge the Metro 3 with the coastal road through news reports,” said an MMRDA official.
In a meeting with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation last week, a senior official from t he CMO reportedly asked t he MMRDA t o change t he proposed underground Wadala-Ghatkopar-ThaneKasarvadavali (WGTK) metro project into a fully elevated corridor – something they say is not possible along the crowded LBS road.
“A senior bureaucrat asked us to make the metro line fully elevated. However, we have informed the chief minister it cannot be constructed along the congested LBS. If elevated, the corridor will have to come up near the Eastern Express Highway, where fewer people will be able to use it,” said an official.
According to the latest plan, the WGTK line, the Metro 4, will have an underground line from Wadala to Kapurbawdi, while the rest of the stretch till Kasarvadavali will be elevated.
“It is intriguing how announcements are being made by t he CMO without studying the metro plan and consulting us. We have planned the various corridors only after carrying out required studies,” said another official.
About a year ago, the MMRDA had decided to make the Metro 2 (Dahisar- BandraMankhurd) underg round. However, it was cut into three parts and turned into an elevated cor ridor after instructions from the chief minister.