Sarvodaya hospital in Ghatkopar withholds permission to MMRDA for demolishing its boundary wall; officials say resolution of the matter will delay project

You may well forget the idea of hopping aboard the Metro on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) rail corridor by November this year, as last promised by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Develop-ment Authority (MMRDA) and Mumbai Suburban Guardian Minister Naseem Khan. Sources reveal that Sarvodaya hospital in Ghatkopar has disallowed the authority to raze down a boundary wall for constructing a pillar for the Metro station.

Impasse: The boundary wall of Sarvodaya hospital in Ghatkopar (West)
where the pier needs to be erected for the Metro railway station.
Pic/Sameer Markande

Moreover, MMRDA is yet to issue Right of Way (RoW) to the implementing agency, Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), for further construction at Jagruti Nagar.

Inside info
According to highly placed sources, "The project is likely to get delayed because the issue related to the demolition of the compound wall of Sarvodaya hospital in Ghatkopar is yet to be resolved. The hospital authorities have put forth some demands that require negotiations. Until then, they will not permit demolition of the wall."

While the current road width available at the site is 8 metres, a minimum of 11 m is required to construct the pillar within the hospital compound and launch girders on it. Due to the shortage of space, the contractor has already altered the design of girders. A failure to resolve the issue will prove costly for the MMRDA.

Further, confirming that MMRDA is yet to hand over the RoW to MMOPL, which is constructing the corridor, sources disclosed, "In order to complete the project, MMRDA will also have to resolve the land filling issue on a 200-metre-stretch at the Jagruti Nagar station for Metro. Even though the station structure is ready, MMRDA cannot construct a stairway unless it does the land filling, for which MMOPL needs the RoW."

Woes galore
Adding to MMRDA's misery is the construction of a pillar at Bhatwadi for Asalpha metro station (on Andheri Ghatkopar Link Road). The construction requires relocation of the Maheshwar temple, which the developmental body is yet to execute. To initiate construction of pillars, the MMRDA will have to erect a pier at the spot where the temple is presently located.

Dilip Kawatkar, MMRDA's joint project director, said, "The work on the entire VAG corridor is going on round the clock. We are confident of completing it by November 2012

Sarvodaya hospital authorities remained unavailable to comment despite repeated attempts to get in touch with them.