Metro work won’t overrun cricket at Oval

Mumbai : The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation on Monday clarified that cricket at both Oval and Azad Maidan in South Mumbai will not be affected during construction of the proposed underground Colaba-Seepz Metro corridor.

The Metro plan was criticised by locals who had alleged that cricket will be disturbed and both the grounds will be usurped by for the construction of the corridor.

“Cricket pitches or matches at the Oval maidan will not be disturbed during the construction of the Metro-3 corridor,” Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) Managing Director Ashwini Bhide said in a statement. MMRC is the implementing agency for the Metro projects under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). However, Bhide said a few cricket pitches at Azad Maidan will be required to be relocated and the MMRC is working closely with the sports department to ensure that majority of the cricketing activity continues at Azad Maidan.

“The entire Oval Maidan is spread over 90,000 sq mt and the metro corridor will temporarily require 3,900 sq mt, which is nearly four per cent of the entire ground. But this land will be taken over only during the project implementation period of 3-4 years and will be restored and returned post construction,” she said.

Since the plot required is very small and is towards the northern side of the ground, there is no likelihood of causing any disturbance to the cricketing activity at the Oval, Bhide added.

As far as the 2 lakh sq mt Azad Maidan is concerned, the corridor temporarily requires 32,687 sq mt, 16 per cent of the entire ground, behind the Mumbai Press Club which will also be restored.

“The corridor will require only 1,000 sqmt of Azad Maidan permanently,” she added.  The entire 33.5 km long Colaba-Bandra-Seepz corridor will require only 39.09 hectares of which 27.29 hectares is required temporarily and 11.80 hectares permanently.  The metro will carry 14 lakh commuters daily and will connect Nariman Point, Cuffe Parade (WTC), Fort, Worli, Lower Parel, BKC, Seepz.

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