The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has made its stand on the underground metro clear.
Metropolitan commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said it was an ideal solution, but not economically feasible for Mumbai.
Nearly 21 citizens groups from JVPD and Bandra had a meeting with top officials of the MMRDA on Tuesday to put across their demand for an underground Metro. Gaikwad said the decision is now entirely on the state government.
Hansel D'Souza, president of Juhu Citizens Welfare Group, made a detailed presentation explaining why the citizens were against the elevated metro. “Compared to Chennai, Bengalooru, and Hyderabad, our city is getting the metro at a very high cost. Then why can't we have an underground metro by paying a little more?” questioned D'Souza.
“The underground railway will come at an extra cost of Rs 56,000 crore,” Gaikwad explained to the group.
The MMRDA is presently building nine Metro corridors estimated to cost around Rs 47,000 crore. However, this figure is likely to increase since the estimates are not based on the current market scenario.
While addressing the citizens' grievances, Gaikwad said: “The JJ flyover is an example of how citizens have suffered during the construction period. However, if people start cribbing about their privacy being lost due to projects such as the Metro, their pleas may remain unheard.”
BJP corporator Ashish Shelar, who was also present, suggested the citizens groups and MMRDA approach the state together to demand an underground line.