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Mumbai Metro-6: Residents slam MMRDA for ‘shoddy planning’

At a public consultation meeting, MMRDA officials had to face tough questions on why the consultation was held when work on the corridor has already begun

mumbai Updated: May 22, 2019 08:37 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
The Mumbai Metro-6 project has come in for some fierce criticism from residents.(FOR REPRESENTATION/ HT FILE)

More than 100 residents from Lokhandwala and Powai slammed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for “poor planning” of Metro-6 (Swami Samarth Nagar to Vikhroli), at a public consultation meeting held on Tuesday. They also submitted their suggestions and objections for the corridor, with a large number demanding that the corridor be made underground.

On Tuesday, the authority also revealed that close to 899 trees will be cut for the first two construction packages of the corridor. This enraged activists further as the project report stated that 57 trees will be cut for the project. The 14-km corridor has been divided into three packages.

MMRDA officials had to face tough questions on why the consultation was held when work on the corridor has already begun. Residents were also agitated that the meeting was not addressed by the metropolitan commissioner or an additional metropolitan commissioner, but officials from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which is executing the project on behalf of MMRDA.

Pamela Cheema, a resident of Powai said, “We [the residents] should have been consulted before the work began. How can MMRDA call it a preliminary discussion when our lives have already been affected because of the work?”

Sonali Mishra, a resident of Powai, said the Metro should be re-routed via Chandivli, instead of clogging the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli link road (JVLR). “The MMRDA’s own DPR says that the peak-hour ridership on stations like Rambaug in Powai will be around 146. Who are we building this Metro for? Instead, the denser areas of Chandivli should get an underground metro.”

Stalin D, an environment activist, also questioned the MMRDA’s decision of building a depot at Kanjurmarg (East). “The same land was said to be marshy and unfit for Metro-3 depot. How is it suddenly fit for Metro-6?” Debi Goenka, an environment activist, said, “There is no clarity on any of the environmental aspects of the project. Earlier, it was said that 57 trees will be affected because of the project.”

Ashok Datar, a transport expert, said MMRDA should have instead undertaken a bus rapid transit project along the line.

PK Sharma, project director, DMRC, said all the suggestions will be looked into thoroughly. “We agree that the consultation might be late, but it is the right time for incorporating suggestions. There was a similar meeting held for Metro-7, where all suggestions were given due consideration.” Sharma assured citizens that all options were considered before deciding on an elevated corridor. He also assured the citizens the Powai lake will not be affected in any way. “There will be trouble during construction, but the line will benefit many,” he said.

Vishram Patil, chief of the social development cell of MMRDA, said, “The objective of this meeting is to take suggestions from people. The minutes of this meeting will be shared with the people in a month.”

First Published: May 22, 2019 01:09 IST