Mumbai: In a new twist to the ongoing controversy over the site of Metro 3 car shed, the Maharashtra government, over the next 15 to 20 days, proposes to reserve 102 acres at Kanjurmarg for the carshed. The state government, under section 37 (1) of the Maharashtra Town Planning Act, has already received suggestions and objections and has said these are under scrutiny. The government will shortly issue a notification on the reservation of this land.
A senior official from the urban development department told The Free Press Journal, “After 102 acres are reserved for the metro carshed, the state government will take a call on whether it is to be used for Metro 3 Colaba-SEEPZ or for Metros 4, 6 and 14. The reservation will be for a metro carshed, notwithstanding the row over the lease of the land between the Centre and the state government. If the court settles the issue, then the state government will have to buy out the land from the private builder or the Centre.” He claimed that the state government has powers under section 37 (1) of the Maharashtra Town Planning Act to reserve the plot.
The state government had proposed to use the Kanjurmarg plot as a common carshed for lines 3, 4 (Wadala-Kasarwadavali) and 6 (Swami Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli). It was also to be integrated with Line 14 (Kanjurmarg-Badlapur), the official reminded.
Section 37(1) reads “Where a modification of any part of, or any proposal made in a final Development plan is of such a nature that it will not change the character of such Development plan, the Planning Authority may or when so directed by the State Government 2 [shall, within sixty days from the date of such direction, publish a notice] in the Official Gazette 3 [and in such other manner as may be determined by it] inviting objections and suggestions from any person with respect to the proposed modification not later than one month from the date of such notice; and shall also serve notice on all persons affected by the proposed modification and after giving a hearing to any such persons, submit the proposed modification (with amendments if any) to the State Government for sanction.”
The 102 acres were handed over to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in October last year, for a common depot for Metro-3 and Metro-6 (Swami Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli). However, it was stayed by the high court.
The state government’s move to reserve the land for the metro carshed comes on the heels of the report submitted by a nine-member committee headed by Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar in January. The committee has observed that Kanjurmarg was more suitable than the Aarey Colony for integration of multiple metro lines, and a future expansion plan was possible on that land.
Further, the committee also noted that more space inside the ecologically rich Aarey expanse would be required for the expansion of the yard in the future, necessitating further damage to the green cover.