MUMBAI: Enthused by the support of Mumbaikars to the proposed 34-km underground Metro line between Colaba and SEEPZ in Andheri via Bandra, hundreds of western suburb residents have demanded diversion of the underground route from Bandra up to Charkop, instead of the proposed elevated route.
The demand to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has the support of 33 residents’ forums, which questioned the discrimination between the island city and suburbs in offering eco-friendly underground routes.
“Why can’t the Bandra-Andheri route of Metro III be diverted towards Charkop, and another underground route between Bandra and Bangur Nagar via Kalina, JVLR, SEEPZ Andheri, Aarey and Goregaon be created? It will have more ridership and better space for development,” the associations from Bandra, Juhu, Khar, Vile Parle and Andheri said.
The Bandra-Charkop section is part of the contracted second Metro line between Charkop and Mankhurd, whereas the Colaba-Bandra-Andheri underground line is yet to be contracted.
Some forums have taken up a legal battle against the proposed elevated track between Charkop and Mankhurd via Bandra, which they say will occupy space on S V Road, Link Road, the western express highway and at the Bandra-Kurla Complex, besides leading to congestion and pollution.
“The underground route helps avoid railway permission. Crossing highways, high-tension electricity wires, waiting for environment permission, the civil aviation ministry’s nod, traffic congestion during construction work, destruction of trees, and sound and dust pollution can be avoided,” said Sherley Singh of Save My Suburbs, which has the support of 31 forums.
Hansel D’Souza of the Mumbai Nagrik Manch congratulated MMRDA for proposing the first totally underground route but said it must be integrated with the Bandra-Charkop section to avoid congestion and pollution during and after construction, due to the proposed elevated route under Metro II. More info