MUMBAI (Metro Rail News): Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation’s (MMRC) managing director, Ashwini Bhide, said underground Metros were ideal but could not be executed in the city due to several, particularly financial, constraints.
She said, “The ideal situation could be that all Metro lines are underground. But for a country and a city like ours, where we have a huge resource crunch, we have tried to find a solution.”
She said she was not the most competent person to explain the decision to build elevated Metro corridors, but said the city’s geographical makeup put a lot of restrictions on planning public transport projects.
Ms. Bhide, who was addressing citizens at the V-Citizens Action Network event in Colaba, answered a series of questions regarding Metro 3, which is being built from Colaba to SEEPZ, including the contentious issue of a car shed proposed to be built in Aarey Colony.
The car shed has been opposed by citizens and environmental groups as it involves axing 2,702 trees.
Recently, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Tree Authority too stalled the proposal for cutting trees after it received 82,000 objections from citizens.
Several citizens questioned the need to have it in Aarey Colony and asked why the yard was not possible in a site in Kanjurmarg, which is being proposed for the yard of Metro Line 6. “That land was not made available because there are private claims on it, litigation is on since 1996,” she said.
The land was still not available with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, which was looking for other options for Metro Line 6, she said. “Moreover, the land is 10 km away from our last stop. So it would have meant extending the corridor by 10 km and revising the whole design, financial closure, getting new approvals. We were still willing to do it provided the land at Kanjurmarg was available at the time,” she said.
She said the MMRC was “seriously concerned” regarding the Aarey issue as the first set of trains were expected to arrive by November 2020. If the depot is not ready by then, they would have no place to keep the trains.