While the 34-km Metro line III on the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz route is all set to be implemented with funding from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), uncertainty surrounds the completion of Metro line II between Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (CBM). The MMRDA is yet to get eco clearance for the construction of the car depot for this line from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
To avoid further delays, the planning authority has started searching for a new area along line II alignments for the depot. But the procedure is likely to push back the 2013 deadline for completion of the project. Speaking to MiD DAY, MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana said, “We did not receive the ministry’s clearance for the construction of the car depot at Mankhurd or Charkop, since both the areas fall under the Coastal Regulatory Zone. We have already started searching for an alternative location.” Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar said, “We have identified a 90-hectare plot at Pahadi area in Goregaon (East). MMRDA will require only 36 hectares for setting up the car depot and casting yard. We will soon communicate with the land owner to discuss the matter.”
Former CM Ashok Chavan had said that the CBM corridor would be ready by 2013. But the MMTPL, which is constructing the line, has only done soil testing; the actual work is yet to start. “How can we expect the contractor to start without providing him the casting yard?” asks an MMRDA official.