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Metro-3 work drills fear into south Mumbai residents

Residents said that damage to buildings could become more acute owing to giant tunnel boring machines.

mumbai Updated: Aug 24, 2017 09:19 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,metro 3,tunnelling
Residents have been asking the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) and the state government to change the alignment of the 33.5-km corridor since 2015. (FILE)

As tunnelling on the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ underground Metro corridor is slated to begin by October, residents of Kalbadevi and Girgaum are a worried lot. They fear that several old and dilapidated buildings, some over 100 years old, could be shaken to their foundations.

Danish Engineer and his family of six, who live in HB Wadia building that is over 150 years old, fear that vibrations during tunnelling could worsen the health of the structure and cause collapse. “Residents of most of the buildings are anxious after the building condition survey reports was released. When the authorities know that the buildings are dilapidated, why are they adamant on taking this route?” Danish asked.

On Wednesday, HT reported that a recent survey had found that at least five buildings in Kalbadevi, Chira Bazaar and Girgaum, were vulnerable and in an “unsatisfactory” condition.

Out of the five buildings, Singapuri has been classified as ‘severe’, while the rest are under ‘moderate’ category. It means these buildings are susceptible to damage once tunnelling starts.

Cracks in the buildings range from minor to severe, according to the report. Residents said that damage to buildings could become more acute owing to giant tunnel boring machines.

They have been asking the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) and the state government to change the alignment of the 33.5-km corridor since 2015. Jamshed Sukhadwalla, who owns an office in Singapuri building, had written a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on April 7, 2015, seeking a change in the alignment. He has not received any response from the CM. The residents are planning to write to MMRC, Fadnavis, and the Prime Minister’s Office. “We demand that the alignment should go via Maharshi Karve Road and not JSS road. If something happens to our buildings, we will hold MMRC responsible,” Sukhadwalla said.

Thrity B Daruvala, owner of Kerawala building, said that she doesn’t feel safe. “Knowing that the health of the building is unsatisfactory and falls in the moderate category of damages, why should they go from here? It is hara-kiri,” she said.

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 09:19 IST