A rehabilitation plan is ready for people who will get affected by the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz (CBS) Metro Line III in south Mumbai. Due to opposition from residents in the area, particularly Girgaum and Kalbadevi, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) had appointed a private consultant, Catapult Realty, to conduct a survey of the people affected and prepare the redevelopment and rehabilitation plan for the affected buildings.

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A protest by local residents against the Metro Line III at Girgaum in March 2015. File pic
A protest by local residents against the Metro Line III at Girgaum in March 2015. File pic

The residents from the area had several rounds of meetings with the consultant. Earlier, the residents were not helping the consultant in carrying out the survey. But later, the Chira Bazar, Girgaum, Grant Road Rahivasi Bachao Kruti Samiti, formed by the local residents, interacted with the Project Affected People (PAP) and they decided to cooperate with the consultant doing the survey.

Details available on the MMRC website reveal around 1,780 hutments and 709 families on private land (legal title holders) are likely to get affected by the Metro Line III in south Mumbai. This includes 617 families residing in 26 buildings that will be affected by the construction of Girgaum and Kalbadevi stations.

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“We have made it very clear that all the residents, tenants and owners of the affected buildings on private lands, including Girgaum and Kalbadevi, will be rehabilitated in the same area as per the redevelopment parameters specified in the Development Control Regulations,” said a senior MMRC official.

The main job assigned to Catapult Realty was to prepare a detailed plan for rehabilitation in consultation with the PAP. Sources from MMRC confirmed that the survey has been completed. “The consultant has finished the preparation of the plan for the rehabilitation. The number of buildings that would be affected because of Metro Line III in Girgaum and Kalbadevi area will be reduced,” said an MMRC official.

When questioned as to how many buildings out of the total of 26 in Girgaum and Kalbadevi are going to be affected, the official refused to comment saying, “ I cannot comment on the number but less the number of people we have to rehabilitate, less is the problem. This would help in speedier implementation of the project,” said the official.

Shiv Sena vibhag pramukh Pandurang Sakpal who is also the convenor of the Chira Bazar, Girgaum, Grant Road Rahivasi Bachao Kruti Samiti said, “We had a round of meetings with the residents and the consultant doing the survey. We have also suggested to them how it is possible to do construction without disturbing many buildings. We have also suggested alternative locations for carrying out the rehabilitation of people within 500 metres of the existing area where the PAP stay. Our demand is very simple, PAP should be rehabilitated within 500 metres of their present residence and we are firm on this.”