Power loom town of Bhiwandi awaits Metro connect
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Power loom town of Bhiwandi awaits Metro connect

Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan Metro line aims to ease connectivity between Thane and Kalyan

mumbai Updated: Jul 20, 2018 23:02 IST
Sajana Nambiar
Sajana Nambiar
Hindustan Times
Bhiwandi is 20 km to the north-east of Mumbai and 15 km to the north-east of Thane. (Praful Gangurde/HT)

As work for Metro 4 corridor started, Thane commuters are looking forward to a smoother travel. Metro 4 will connect Thane and Wadala.

Bhiwandi residents are hopeful that they too will get the faster mode of transport.

Although the Metro 5 line from Thane to Bhiwandi is only a proposal, around 2.29 lakh commuters are hoping to cut travel time by at least 40 minutes.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which will build the metro, found after a study that the population along the route will double in the coming years.

The study found that Kalyan will see around 46 lakh residents by 2031, while the neighbouring Bhiwandi’s population will rise from 6.8lakhs to 13lakhs.

The Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan Metro line aims to ease connectivity between the two cities.

Bhiwandi is 20 km to the north-east of Mumbai and 15 km to the north-east of Thane.

For Bhiwandi residents, the best way to connect to other cities is the road. The Metro will not only improve connectivity in Bhiwandi but will also pave way for infrastructural development.

As per the authorities, one of the major advantages of the proposed Thane- Bhiwandi-Kalyan Metro will be the improvement in the connectivity between the three cities.

“It takes around two hours to cover the distance by road and even longer during peak hours. With no improvement in the infrastructure for years, the commuters are a hassled lot,” said Ahmad Khan, 39, a resident of Bhiwandi who travels to Thane and Mumbai by road every day.

Thane traffic officials said around 5 to 6 lakh vehicles ply between Thane, Bhiwandi and Kalyan every day.

“The volume of traffic will increase to at least 18 lakhs in the next 15 years. The metro connect will ease traffic on the road,” said a Babaji Avhad, assistant commissioner of traffic police, Kalyan.

Bhiwandi, a power loom town, lacks infrastructure and basic amenities. Narrow streets and congested roads in the old city have not changed for years. A majority of the town’s 8 lakh population (as per 2011 census) is employed in power looms.

However, shopkeepers and residents living in Bhiwandi for decades claimed that they would lose their homes and shops for the project. The Metro is likely to pass through areas such as Kalyan naka, Ajdibi road, Nayi Basti, Temgharpada and Saibaba road which have many shops and houses.

In 2016, soon after the MMRDA announced the metro route, many residents opposed the project and formed Kalyan Road Vyapari and Rahivashi Sangharsh Samiti.

“There are other routes which are feasible for the Metro line. The route passes through Kalyan Road which has around 800 shops and 1,000 residential buildings. All of them will be affected by the project,” said Dina Mohammad Shah Mohammad Khan, representative of Kalyan Road Vyapari and Rahivashi Sangharsh Samiti.

The residents have been demanding to change the Kalyan Road route to Vanjarpatti naka.

Usmaan Shaikh, 46, has been living in Temgharpada for 30 years. “We won’t give up our houses and shops for the metro line. There is no rehabilitation announcement by the authorities.”

A MMRDA official, requesting anonymity, said, “The MMRDA has not yet planned any compensation. We will follow the rules and the state government’s directions.”

Tabeer Mohammad Shaikh, 30, a resident of Temgharpada, said, “We do not want any compensation as the shops are our livelihood. We want the authority to conduct a proper survey, take feedback from residents and revise the route.”

The alignment of the Metro line is being finalised, said an official of MMRDA, who did not wish to be named. “We have not yet finalised the shops and residential complexes that will be razed for the project. So, it early to talk about compensation for project-affected people,” he said.

The 24-km long Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan Metro-5 corridor is expected to carry around 2.29 lakh commuters daily in 2021.

“The Metro project should touch Bhiwandi as it will help the city grow in many ways. It will boost real estate and improve infrastructure. The easy connectivity will pull more people here,” said Amar Shah, 45, a resident of Kongaon in Bhiwandi.

Builder writes to authorities for route change

Residents and activists in the city have raised their voices against the proposed route for the Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan metro line, claiming it will create traffic congestion and will not be affordable for commuters.

Ravi Patil, a builder and a resident of Kalyan, has written to the MMRDA and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, demanding changing the route of the metro project.

The route from Thane-Bhiwandi to Durgadi–Lal Chowki- Sahajanand Chowk- Shivaji Chowk to APMC market in Kalyan (West), was proposed in September 2016.

It was sanctioned by the MMRDA in October 2016.

The MMRDA replied saying it has no plans to change the route. Patil has written to the authority again. “The route was designed by a consultant who hardly knows the city. The authority should have taken suggestions from local residents, politicos and activists,” said Patil.

According to Patil, the proposed route is far from the Kalyan station. “This will be unaffordable for the middle class,” added Patil.

MMRDA’s plan

The metro stations will have connectivity to autorickshaws and bus service in the cities. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will approach the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) to increase frequency of buses to help commuters travel from the metro stations to their destination in the cities.

First Published: Jul 20, 2018 23:02 IST