mid-day editorial: Who will ride the Metro if the city is flooded?

Dec 25, 2017, 06:07 IST | mid-day correspondent

Why is it always one step forward and two steps back in this city? A report in this paper highlighted how considerable time and money was spent on to desilt Mithi river, only for the Metro workers to dump yet more debris into the water body

Why is it always one step forward and two steps back in this city? A report in this paper highlighted how considerable time and money was spent on to desilt Mithi river, only for the Metro workers to dump yet more debris into the water body.

One must not forget that Mithi played a large part in the 2005 flooding disaster in Mumbai. A citizen activist has alleged that the debris from Metro III (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) corridor has reduced the width of the river in Dharavi from 25 metres to 15 metres. This reduces the Mithi river’s width and, of course, impedes the free flow of the river.

If, for any reason, the muck has to dumped there, it should be removed within a certain time period. As we approach the new year, we see the Metro III work picking up pace. Promises that have been made should be fulfilled. First, that the Metro construction goes on as responsibly as possible. Minimal noise pollution should be a priority. Large swathes of the city are getting disturbed with the noise of the Metro work, so every effort has to be made to cut the sound while work is ongoing.

Trees have been uprooted; parks have been flattened for the Metro. All the disquiet has been addressed by Metro honchos who say that trees will be replanted and the parks will be replaced. It is important that the authorities keep their promises; they need to keep the trust and faith of the people. Make that effort seamless, quick and efficient.

Controversies like muck in the Mithi chip away at an already fragile assurance that Metro honchos will keep their promises. The Metro-III cannot resort to the same old excuse that the environment has to be sacrificed for development. Strike a balance between both, and above all, keep the people first.

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