Mumbai: After demarcating a portion of Aarey Milk Colony for a Metro car depot, the state government is now planning to build a ‘Metro Bhavan’.
There is already a stand-off between environmentalists and state officials over a part of Aarey Milk Colony being used for the Metro rail car depot. Now, there is a plan to have more Metro-related facilities at Aarey, but on a different land parcel, to ease Mumbaikars’ commuting woes.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) now wants a four-acre plot next to the Western Express Highway in Goregaon to set up an integrated operations and control centre.
“We will require land permanently to set up the centre for all Metro rail routes planned and those under construction in Mumbai. We recently placed a request with the departments concerned,” said Praveen Darade, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA. Earlier, another request was forwarded by the MMRDA to the Urban Development Department and Dairy Development Department to obtain another two acres adjoining the plot identified for the control centre. However, there will be a need for setting up labour camps as well as a casting yard for the Metro lines, for a few years or for temporary use.
“These two plots are next to a new fuel station that has come up on the eastern side of the Western Express Highway. The plots do not have tree coverage. There is only wild grass or bushes,” added Darade.
“We received a proposal by Dairy Development Department a few days ago pertaining to the setting up a Metro Bhavan on the plot,” said NV Rathod, Chief Executive Officer of Aarey Milk Colony.
Stalin D, who has challenged the construction of the car depot (for the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line) and Aarey Metro station at Aarey with the National Green Tribunal, responded to the latest development, saying: “I am not surprised with their latest move. We are fighting to protect the city’s green cover.”