Mumbai Metro Line-3: Metro eyes prime land at WR's SoBo stations

Western Railway will have to provide land at Churchgate, Grant Road, Mumbai Central and Mahalaxmi to build underground Metro stations; requirement came to the fore during a meeting of railway and MMRC officials yesterday

The subway at Churchgate station will provide connectivity to the proposed Rs 23,136- crore Metro Line-3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz). The two gardens outside Mumbai Central station will be converted into a temporary yard for the Metro rail, and a heritage engine on display in one of the gardens will require relocation.

These were some of the observations made during an inspection, followed by a meeting between officials from the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) and the Western Railway (WR).

MMRC officials said they intend to start the project by January 2015, for which 14 firms participated during the pre-qualification bidding. The foundation stone for the project was laid in August. The 32.5-km long Metro Line-3 will be completely underground, and have 27 stations.

Development of the Metro line will claim the gardens at the entrance of the Mumbai Central station, and force relocation of the iconic locomotive (circled) made by Kerr Stuart and Co, England, in 1929
Development of the Metro line will claim the gardens at the entrance of the Mumbai Central station, and force relocation of the iconic locomotive (circled) made by Kerr Stuart and Co, England, in 1929

Churchgate
Sources said the subway at Churchgate station will connect with the Metro station, taking people directly towards Colaba. “People need not use the road; instead, they can board the Metro train. Similarly, they can also catch the local trains from Churchgate station,” said a WR official.

Grant Road
Here, a 400 sq m plot is required for developing the underground Metro station. This shall have to be railway land on the east side of the Grant Road station. The authorities will carry necessary work through microtunnelling.

Mumbai Central
The station plays an important role in the project, and needs a 3,500 sq m plot. But, the development of the Metro line will claim the two gardens at the entrance of the Mumbai Central station, and force relocation of the iconic locomotive made by Kerr Stuart and Co, England, displayed in one of the gardens.

The engine was manufactured at a cost of Rs 34,423 in 1929, and it was decommissioned in 1990. “Construction material and infrastructural equipment will occupy the two gardens for the next three to four years.

The gardens will be converted into a temporary yards for Metro trains. The authorities also wanted to close the entrance to the station, to which we might not agree,” said a WR official.

Presently, taxis, tempos, cars and other four-wheelers use the gate to enter the station premises for picking up or dropping people. Another road near the Divisional Railway Manager’s office will be needed with the adjacent plot.

Mahalaxmi
Here, too, WR is expected to part with its land for development of Metro Line-3. Metro authorities intend to connect the existing platforms at Mahalaxmi station with an underground subway, taking passengers directly to the Metro station. Even the road transport will be connected with the station.

Sacrificed
A few railway officials said that the shelved Churchgate-Virar elevated rail corridor project had almost followed a similar route. They alleged that the elevated corridor was sidelined because of the Metro Line-3. The state government and Indian Railways were at loggerheads over the two big- ticket projects, connecting south Mumbai with the north. Eventually, the state promoted and pushed the Metro project.

Churchgate
>> Subway at Churchgate station will connect with the Metro station, taking people directly towards Colaba 
>> This connectivity will assist even those alighting from the local trains, as they can directly approach the Metro station without leaving the Churchgate station premises

Mumbai Central
>> Construction will cost WR a plot measuring 3,500 sq mt, including the two gardens at the station entrance 
>> These gardens will be used to store construction material and equipment for the next 3 to 4 years 
>> Later, they will be converted into yards for Metro trains 
>> Moreover, a British Raj-era locomotive that is on display in one of the gardens will require relocation 
>> MMRC wants to shut one of the entrances to the station, a move which the WR officials might oppose 
>> It also wants the road near the Divisional Railway Manager’s office with the adjacent plot

Official speak
“We are in talks with the MMRC and have visited the sites wherever necessary,” said Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Western Railway. Sanjay Sethi, managing director, MMRC and additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We plan to integrate the Metro with the railways, BEST, autos and taxis, wherever possible. As per the plan, we want to start work by January 2015. So we are working out the details.”

Rs 23,136 cr
Cost of the underground Metro Line-3

27
Number of stations on the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz corridor

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