Mumbai citizens to protest Metro construction's slow progress



The delay in the completion of the city’s most awaited and ambitious Metro Railway project has irked the suburban population of Mumbai. People living in the areas of construction are all set to register their protest against the authorities at three different places on Saturday from 12pm to 6pm.

The construction, which was supposed to conclude by the end of 2011, is far from being completed. “There are approximately 30 lakh people residing in the areas of Varsova, Vira Desai, Andheri, SEEPZ, Sakinaka and Ghatkopar. There are commercial complexes, airport and a number of industries which make these a high traffic area.

The metro rail work, which is progressing at snail’s pace has added to the misery of the commuters as well as the residents in the area,” said Shailendra Kamble, secretary, Eastern Suburbs Tehsil committee of Communist Party of India (Marxist). He added that, along with traffic jams the residents are also facing problems related to water, electricity and telephone services.

“The air pollution due to continuous construction activity is another problem. There are heaps of soil, iron rods, machines, barricades etc blocking the road, putting people’s lives in danger,” added Kamble. The leftist party along with Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), has planned demonstrations today at three places, namely Marol Naka, Saki Naka junction and Andheri(W) near Singar hotel, demanding that the construction speed up.

DYFI had initiated a movement few years ago, demanding the quadrupling of railway lines between Borivli and Virar, a demand that was fulfilled after continuous struggle. Now the organisation is planning to launch a similar mass movement in the western suburbs for the Metro Railway project.

“We are not against the project, but the clash between BMC and MMRDA is slowing the work down and citizens are losing their patience,” he said.