MMRDA pledges to replant trees that will be axed
To get environment ministry's nod for Charkop car depot for Metro Line-2, the rail corridor's implementing authority says it will plant the 20-30 mangroves near city as compensation
In order that the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd (CBM) Metro Line-2 may see the light of day, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has told the Union environment ministry that it will plant mangroves outside city limits to recompense the ones that are going to have to be hacked to accommodate the Metro car depot coming up at Charkop.
Speaking to MiD DAY, MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan said, “We had an important meeting with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) officials in New Delhi last week, where we requested them again for granting clearance to the construction of the Metro Line-2’s car depot at Charkop. We have assured them that we’ll be doing compensatory plantation of the mangroves at a huge piece of land near Mumbai.”
MiD DAY had earlier reported (‘Twenty mangroves delay Rs 8,000-crore Metro project’, July 14) that around 20 mangrove trees near the proposed car depot in Kandivli were standing in the way of the 32-km-long CBM line.
The project has not taken off the ground even four years after the line’s groundbreaking ceremony was done by the then President Pratibha Patil in 2009.
An MMRDA official said, “We have requested the MoEF that since there are only 20-30 trees causing a hindrance to this important project, the ministry should give us the clearance.”
The planning authority has already received conditional clearances from the environment ministry for the proposed car depots at Mankhurd and Charkop, which fall in the environmentally protected coastal regulation zone. However, the final clearance is pending. Due to the delay in implementation, the cost of the project, originally estimated at Rs 8,250 crore, has gone up to more than Rs 8,300 crore
According to the plan, the car depot was to be built on stilts sothe mangrove trees did not have to be severed. Sources from MMRDA say the MoEF has made it clear that maintenance, repair and washing of Metro rakes will not be permitted at this depot.
To solve the rake maintenance issue, a fresh proposal was sent by MMRDA to MoEF, which stated that the planning body would construct the depot in Charkop in a way that its treated sewage water would be released directly into the sea, without impacting the tree cover.
While signing the concession agreement on October 21, 2010, the then Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had said that the CBM corridor would be ready by 2013.
The Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro corridor is now a Rs 8,300-crore project, and is being implemented on public-private partnership (PPP) basis. But it hasn’t take off the ground yet. Here’s how things have unfolded so far:
>> July 29, 2009: Financial bid for CBM submitted by a Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium is approved
>> August 26, 2009: The project’s groundbreaking ceremony is done by then President Pratibha Patil
>> 2012: Contractor fails to start work; MMRDA writes to them to start work on the corridor at the earliest or make their stand clear on the project
>> December, 2012: MMRDA writes to the state government, asking for its opinion about the course of action, as the contractor hadn’t started the work
Proposed stations on Metro Line-2
The 27 stations on the CBM corridor include Charkop, Malad, Kasturi Park, Bangur Nagar, Oshiwara, Samarth Nagar, Shastri Nagar, D N Nagar, ESIC Nagar, JVPD, Juhu, Vile Parle, Nanavati Hospital, Arya Samaj Chowk, Khar, National College, Bandra, MMRDA, Income Tax Office, Bharat Nagar, Complex Road, Kurla, S G Barve Marg, R C Marg, Shivaji Chowk, BSNL, Mankhurd