The MMRDA has finally zeroed in on another plot to build a car depot for the second metro
DHARAM DHUTIA Mumbai
In view of the strict attitude of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest ( MoEF), the Mumbai Metrop
olitan Region Development Authority ( MMRDA) has finally zeroed in on another plot to build a car depot for the second metro.
” We have spoken to the Chief Secretary to grant the plot to MMRDA so that we can build the car depot for the second metro corridor,” said Rahul Asthana, MMRDA Commissioner.
The second metro corridor, Charkop- Bandra- Mankhurd ( CBM) has been having troubles since the planning stages. One of the biggest hurdles is the two car depots, one at Charkop and the other at Mankhurd, both falling under the Coastal Regulatory Zones ( CRZ), would require green signal for construction from MoEF. ” The new plot is free from any reservations or CRZ, and hence we would try and get it so that the work of the metro doesnalt39t suffer,” Asthana stated.
In case of the Charkop plot, there are major issues of CRZ- 1. Almost 42.88 % of the car depot fall in CRZ- 1, while 20.23 % area is in CRZ- 2. While 17.94 % of the Charkop plot is officially a creek, only 3.99 hectares land ( 18.95 %) is officially out of CRZ restrictions. Former MoEF minister, Jairam Ramesh had just given an in- principle approval to construct on the plot, but the final approval had been withheld. ” The current minister Jayanti Natarajan is also very strict like Ramesh, and hence it was better to go in for another plot,” said a senior MMRDA official, requesting anonymity.
MMRDA and the MoEF have been constantly exchanging letters and presentations for the past yearand- a- half on the two proposed plots.
However, MoEF placed conditions such as no washing, cleaning or any maintenance work could be carried out in CRZ- I area of the car depot.
The 32- km CBM route would cost around Rs 8,250 crore and is being implemented on public- private partnership basis by the same companies that took up the first metro of Versova- Andheri- Ghatkopar.
Even as difficulties remain, MMRDA is confident of starting the work on the second metro corridor in October, 2011.