After mid-day revealed sneaky station change to busy Bandra tri-junction, transit authority says a proposed segmental sewer tunnel at the old spot was reason behind the plan to shift it; residents remain unconvinced
Ongoing construction work for the Metro 2B line on SV Road near Tata Blocks on Monday. Pic/Shadab Khan
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Tuesday claimed that the National College Metro station—which is part of the Metro 2B corridor—was shifted as it clashed with segmental sewer tunnel construction work being carried out by the BMC. MMRDA officials further stated that the new location is more feasible and beneficial in every way for the station. Outraged residents of Tata Blocks, Bandra’s plush Parsi residential colony, and other stakeholders on SV Road, had sought an explanation from MMRDA over the decision.
The residents have alleged that the decision was made without informing any stakeholders. They also fear losing the only green space in the area—Sadhu Vaswani Garden, which they say will be cleared to make way for the construction of the station’s entry and exit points.
Construction work for the Metro 2B line on SV Road near Tata Blocks, on Monday. Pics/Shadab Khan
As per the earlier plan for the corridor, which connects DN Nagar in Andheri West to Mandale in Mankhurd via Bandra, there are to be two stations in Bandra West—’Bandra’ (which will be coming up near the Lucky restaurant signal) and ‘National College’ near Jivan Kiran bungalow opposite Western Railway Employees Colony. However, the former station has now been shifted opposite Tata Blocks starting from Grace Galaxy hotel and extending up to the Maruti Auto Vista showroom on SV Road.
In response to mid-day’s query, MMRDA stated, “As per the detailed project report (DPR) of Metro Line-2B prepared by M/s Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the National College Metro station was planned opposite Western Railway Employees Colony (old location). In November 2019, the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP) department of BMC informed MMRDA regarding the work of construction of a segmental sewer tunnel from Jay Bharat Society to Bandra Influent Pumping Station along SV Road on the Eastern carriageway. Following joint meetings with BMC officials and civic and Metro consultants, it was observed that the retrieval shaft of the MSDP sewer tunnel was near the proposed National College station and infringing with station pier piles. The tunnel alignment was passing very close to Metro station piers and the foundations of Metro portals were clashing with the tunnel alignment.”
Elaborating on hurdles that led to the shifting of the station to the new location, the MMRDA stated, “Chief Engineer (MSDP), BMC, was requested to shift the retrieval shaft of the MSDP sewer tunnel beyond Metro piers. In reply, BMC informed that the same is not feasible in the station area and requested MMRDA to shift the Metro station towards the Bandra station side to avoid interference between the project structures and delay in execution. In view of the above, the competent authority of MMRDA then approved the shifting of the National College Metro station.”
The officials, however, did not divulge anything about the utilisation of space where Sadhu Vaswani Garden is located. Zameer Cyrus Palamkote, Tata Blocks resident and joint chairman of Varde Marg Residents’ Association, said that the MMRDA’s statement that the new location was the best possible one was unacceptable.
He said, “The MMRDA cannot get away from the fact that in their original plan, the station called National College was located outside Jivan Kiran bungalow near Railway Colony and that no information was given to the public regarding any relocation. Further, they have not published any details on how this move will impact Sadhu Vaswani Garden. We not only expect a detailed reply to our objection letter but also want MMRDA officials to meet the citizens of this area and discuss this matter, as we are convinced that a Metro station at one of the busiest junctions in the suburbs is absolutely not viable. This move will adversely impact Bandra, and the ramifications shall be irreversible. Citizens, urge our MLA Ashish Shelar and other elected public representatives to intervene and resolve this matter for the welfare of Bandra.”
According to MMRDA, the decision was made considering and studying several benefits of shifting the station to the new location. It claimed that the right of way (a path across private land that the public may use) at the old Metro station location was 23-24 metres but at the new location, it is 24-34.8 metres. Due to the narrow road width of the old location, Metro station’s entry/exit structures would obstruct residential building gates, MMRDA officials claimed.
They added that the old location was located on a low-lying stretch whereas the new location is at a higher level and at a better junction, connecting major streets like Linking Road, Turner Road and SV Road.
“As mentioned above, considering the site situation that is road geometry, curvature, and other site constraints and based on discussions during joint visits of MMRDA with BMC officials and Metro consultants, the proposal for shifting the National College Metro station towards Bandra Station side was approved by the competent authority of MMRDA,” a MMRDA official stated. However, residents claim that the road in the new location is much narrower than the original one.
Day in Feb when citizens wrote objection letter
Day in Feb when MMRDA replied to queries