Mumbai: Metro will not rehabilitate people in same area, says RTI

Residents of Girgaum, Chira Bazaar, Grant Road who will be displaced by the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro line, had asked to be rehabilitated in the same area; the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation had claimed Line 3 was planned after taking them into confidence

While the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) claims that the Colaba- Bandra- Seepz Metro line three has been planned by taking into confidence the people staying along the planned corridor, information revealed with the help of an RTI request states otherwise.

355 structures in Girgaum will have to be demolished for the Metro Line 3
355 structures in Girgaum will have to be demolished for the Metro Line 3

It said that the MMRC will be rehabilitating Project Affected People (PAPs) at Chakala, Oshiwara, Kurla, Vidyavihar, and Wadala. This, though residents have asked to be rehabilitated in the same area. The RTI reply also states that the proposed project may impact a total of 2,223 buildings.

A senior citizen looks at an announcement of the protest to be held today against the Metro. Pics/Bipin Kokate
A senior citizen looks at an announcement of the protest to be held today against the Metro. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Apart from this, 241 other structures will have to be demolished in Mahim and other areas during the construction. RTI activist Anil Galgali had filed a query with the MMRC on February 26, 2015, regarding project details and a list of structures which will be affected during the construction of Metro Line 3.

Galgali said, “There are 24 spots with structures between Cuffe Parade and Aarey Colony, and 241 buildings at Naya Nagar, Mahim that are coming in the way of this project. Out of the total 2,223, 1,544 are residential buildings, 576 commercial, 31 buildings are residential and commercial and there are 72 other constructions.”

In the RTI query, the applicant had also asked the MMRC about the locations where PAPs will be rehabilitated, to which the reply was that the rehabilitation is planned in areas like Chakala, Oshiwara, Kurla, Vidyavihar. “MMRC replied that slum dwellers occupying public places will be shifted to MMRDA’s buildings in Bhakti Park, Wadala and Wonderland, Oshiwara.

These buildings have flats admeasuring 225 sq feet. HDIL has started work on construction of houses under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). Under this project, construction is going on in full swing near Premier at Kurla (West), near Bhandari Metalgrij, Kurla (East) and at Chakala, Andheri. Houses admeasuring 269 sq ft will be made available,” added Galgali.

Residents call for a bandh today
It should be noted that on Monday the talks between MMRC officials and Chira Bazar, Girgaum, Grant Road Rahivasi Bachao Kruti Samiti members, which include the PAPs, had failed and the Samiti decided it would observe a bandh on March 18, which has the support of the Shiv Sena.

More than 500 members of the Samiti will hold a silent protest march that will start at 10 am today from Tulsi Street and go up to Girgaum. Speaking to mid-day, Pandurang Sakpal, conveyor of the Samiti, said, “The residents of the area had a meeting with the MMRC officials on Monday, but unless the MMRC promises us proper rehabilitation in the same area, we will not agree (to the plan).

We will also write to the chief minister our demands.” Residents have also been saying that the Metro alignment should be changed, or else the proposed Kalbadevi or Grant Road station should be scrapped, as both stations are very close to each other.

Buildings to be demolished
The applicant had also asked for information about the buildings that will have to be demolished between Kalbadevi station and Girgaum, to which the reply was that Vithaldas building near Girgaum station, VIP luggage showroom, Annapurna Niwas, Kranti Nagar, Ekta Society, Dhoot Papeshwar, Shri Ram Bhavan, Swami Niwas and Narmadadevi Trust at Kalbadevi, Kotkar Building no 17, Building no 19, Sabina Building /Talathi House, Todiwaala Building, Munnalal Mansion A & B , Sona Chamber, Fish Market, Hem Villa, Chatwal Building, Khan House, Building no 591, Building no 593, Building no 595, Raajsheela Building, Kapadia Building, Chira Bazaar 605 and 607 are included in the list of buildings that will be demolished.

RTI info also states
The most affected structures are at MIDC, Andheri where there are 628 different types of structures. After that is Girgaum with 355, Kalbadevi with 294, BKC with 264 and Aarey Colony with 262. It has also been stated in the reply that there has not been a single complaint received by MMRC against the Metro 3 project.

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