Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Monday, flagged off trial runs for the city’s two new metro rail lines on the Charkop-Dahisar-Aarey route of Metro 2A and 7.
These two lines will be fully operational from January 2022, with the first phase of Metro-2A (Dahisar-Aarey) and Metro-7 (Dahanukarwadi to Aarey) commencing from October.
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Environmentalists claim this to be a good example of showcasing how two or more metro lines can coexist in a single carshed. The green brigade is questioning the status of the composite carshed planned at Kanjurmarg for at least three metro rail lines - Metros 3, 4 and 6.
In the current instance, Metros 2A and 7 will temporarily share a carshed at Charkop. The Bombay High Court is hearing the case on the issue of ownership of land at Kanjurmarg. The Centre had said the Kanjurmarg plot belonged to its salt department. The 102 acres of land at the site, according to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), are required to construct the carshed for metro lines 3, 4 and 6 and an interchange station for the proposed line 14 with line 6.
“If there is a delay in acquiring land at Kanjurmarg for the carshed, then it will have repercussions on the metro rail projects,” said environmental activist Zoru Bhathena.
The MMRDA is struggling to procure almost 136 hectares of land for different metro rail corridors interlinking the city - at Dahisar (26 hectares), Mankhurd (30 hectares), Kanjurmarg (40 hectares) and Thane (40 hectares). The only land parcel readily available is at Charkop (25 hectares), where initially the metro rail coaches of Metro 7 on Andheri (E)-Dahisar (E) and Metro 2A on Dahisar (W)-DN Nagar, will be stabled.
In March, the Maharashtra government had issued a notification to modify the reservation in the Development Plan (DP) 2034 for the metro car depot and casting yard. “In larger public interest, the land should be given, as projects are getting delayed,” Stalin D, director of NGO Vanshakti.
Sources in the MMRDA said that even at Charkop, there is a restriction of 25-27 rakes. More land in Dahisar east, identified for the Metro 7 line, will be needed.
(With inputs from Shashank Rao)