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5 options for casting yard may hasten Metro II start

Mired in delays due to non-availability of permission to construct a casting yard, MMRDA has proposed five other alternate plots to authorities for approval

Two years after the contract was awarded to Reliance Infrastructure to start the second 32-km Metro rail corridor between Charkop, Bandra and Mankhurd (CBM), the issue of non availability of a casting yard at Charkop that was delaying the project may soon be resolved. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has identified five other plots for setting up a casting yard and the files regarding the same have been sent for approval.

Permission to set up a casting yard was pending with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). It was anticipated that work on the CBM stretch would start by October. The main reason behind the delay, however, is the pending clearance from MoEF for constructing a car depot at Charkop, which is vital to the project.

Also, MMRDA wasn't able to secure permission from the authorities as the plot that MMRDA requires at Charkop for construction of the car depot falls under Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ), which means that the construction site would be difficult without the clearances.

MMRDA has sent proposals of five other plots to the departments concerned for seeking approval where a car depot and a casting yard can be constructed.

In July, MiD DAY had published a report ('Bhoomipoojan July 11: No work done') stating that the work on the CBM metro line II has not commenced even though the bhoomipoojan was performed in 2009.

An MMRDA official, on condition of anonymity, said, "The project is already delayed and to prevent any further delays, we have identified five other plots in Charkop where we can set up the casting yard. As some of the plots are owned by the BMC, we have forwarded the proposals to the department concerned to get approval."

"Regarding the Central Public Works Department land near Mith Chowky on the Malad-Marve Road, proposal
is in the advanced stage of approval at Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), New Delhi and several follow up meetings have been undertaken by MMRDA and Mumbai Metro Transport Private Limited (MMTPL) at MoUD," said MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar.

Held up in delays
A casting yard is a place where huge girders measuring 25-metres in length are constructed with pre-cast concrete. The construction of these girders requires vast tracts of land and is critical for the project.

Stations on Phase II of metro rail
The 32-km long CBM line is a Rs 8, 250 crore project and is being implemented on public-private partnership basis. Once operational there will be 27 stations on this corridor, which areĀ -- Charkop- Malad (Metro), Kasturi Park, Bangur Nagar, Oshiwara, Samarth Nagar, Shashtri Nagar, D. N. Nagar, ESIC Nagar, JVPD, Juhu, Vile Parle (Metro), Nanavati Hospital, Arya Samaj Chowk, Khar (Metro), National College, Bandra(Metro), MMRDA, Income Tax Office, Bharat Nagar, Complex Road, Kurla (Metro) S G Barve Marg, R C Marg, Shivaji Chowk, BSNL, and Mankhurd (Metro).

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