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While most of the nation was glued to the television during the India-Pakistan cricket match on Sunday morning, over 400 Mumbaikars chose to gather in Aarey Milk Colony instead, where they staged a silent demonstration against the proposal to cut 2,298 trees to make space for Metro line III’s car depot.
The construction of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro line requires one pier to be erected on the hospital premises. The Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd, the consortium building the elevated Metro corridor, also needs about 200 to 300 metres of land belonging to the hospital trust on a temporary basis for the launching of girders and movement of machinery.
The Mumbai Metro will start operations by the end of 2012, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has reportedly said. The original deadline for the project was August 2012, but ‘due to delays in getting right of work (ROW) permits from the government and other clearances for the project’, the project will eventually see operations by the end of this year.
On Wednesday, citizens did not raise any objections to the proposal to build an underground Metro rail link between Colaba and Seepz in Andheri via Bandra and the airport, thereby indicated their support to the subterranean route proposed between south Mumbai and the western suburbs, say Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials.
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With actual work on the 32-km-long Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (CBM) Metro corridor yet to commence, the Mumbai Metro Transport Private Limited (MMTPL) that has been awarded the contract, has written to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, stating that the project will not only miss the 2013 deadline by nearly a year, even construction cost is bound to go up.
After requesting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consider giving 90% of the funds for five major infrastructure projects, the state government on Monday held a meeting with Gajendra Haldia, an advisor to the Planning Commission of India, to discuss the need for central funding for two of the projects, the Rs 14,000-crore Navi Mumbai international airport and the Rs 16,000-crore Colaba-Bandra underground Metro.
The ongoing Metro work is inconveniencing many in the city but among those affected the most are the motorists who have to navigate Saki Naki junction daily. During peak traffic hours, it can take anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes to cross the signal, making it perhaps Mumbai's most painful intersection .