Mumbai: While Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has said that the tunneling work for Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 will commence in October, it has now washed its hands of, saying MMRC won’t be responsible for any collapse of old dilapidated buildings that may occur during the tunneling work and the contractors would be solely responsible for the same.
However, MMRC has said that the contractor is conducting a pre-construction survey of all the structures in the influence zone of Metro-3 alignment and during the tunneling all these structures will be monitored to avoid any untoward incident or accident.
Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, MMRC, said, “We are using the latest technology when it comes to tunneling, which is very safe. There should be no scope for any structure collapsing or loss of life due to tunneling. However, in case of a collapse, it is the contractor who is responsible for the same and not MMRC.”
Bhide added, “The residents of those structures that are weak might be asked to shift for a week when tunneling is being carried out, if found necessary. The contractors would bear the expense for the same. While we also carried out a survey previously, even the contractors are carrying out the same preconstruction survey. If after all these studies too, there is any collapse, the contractors would be responsible.”
There are a total of 1,435 buildings on the whole alignment where the MMRC had prepared a report named Building Condition Survey prior to 2015. The report concluded with there being 16 buildings on the whole alignment where tunneling would be carried out in very severe category, 247 buildings in severe category, 405 in moderate category, 469 in slight category, 184 in very slight and 11 buildings in negligible category.
However, the contractors of MMRC are currently redoing the exercise named Pre-construction Condition Survey of these buildings. Homa Pouredehi, resident of JSS Road at Girgaum said, “My building is in habitable condition at present and we will continue to stay for many more years. But MMRC declared our building as “structurally unsatisfactory. We have not been taken into confidence. MMRC has not given any written commitment about structurally strengthening and making the building safe before and during tunnelling. MMRC has not clarified what happens if our building collapses during tunneling.”
Meanwhile, MMRC has already placed orders worth approximately Rs 2,200 crore for purchasing 17 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) required to excavate the city’s first underground corridor between Colaba and Seepz, have been placed by MMRC’s contractors.