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Sanjay Nirupam claims that all the elevated metro lines are a mere election sop by the Fadnavis-led BJP Govt

Mumbai: Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam along with civil society members from across the city attacked the State Govt and Maha CM Devendra Fadnavis claiming that the BJP Govt is destroying the city of Mumbai in the name of constructing metro lines.

Nirupam stated that the MMRDA had claimed in April 2016 that construction of Metro line 2A connecting Dahisar to Bandra via Mankhurd will be finished by December 2019. However, within 6 months, this completion date shifted to 2022. Nirupam alleged that while 17 stations are to be constructed on Metro Line 2A, not a single station is visible under advanced construction.

Nirupam also presented a proof claiming that the MMRDA had a meeting presided by Devendra Fadnavis in November 2014 for the entire 40 km route of metro line 2 from Dahisar to Mankhurd to be made underground. However, now the Govt has taken a U-turn reasoning that the decision was not ratified by the Cabinet which is why Metro Line 2 was later split into Lines 2A and 2B thus depriving residents of north-western suburbs of underground metro. Speaking about Metro line 2B, Nirupam stated that this metro line is planned piercing through the most sense and congested residential, educational as well as public institutional development.

Nirupam further said that the Metro line 4 connecting Wadala to Thane is dominated with large residential and commercial complexes where land has to be acquired from private properties in addition to the fact that it is a stand-alone alignment with negligible connectivity to other metros. Targeting Metro line 6 connecting Jogeshwari to Vikhroli, Sanjay Nirupam stated that this route is like a roller coaster since existing terrain is having innumerable undulations as well as several sharp bents and curves. He further said that Mumbai will be a polluted concert jungle at the end of this project. Nirupam also stated that the 2 stations have been planned adjoining the iconic Powai lake and that the environmental clearances for this line are unlikely to come as this project poses a great environmental threat.

Speaking of Metro Line 7 connecting Dahisar East to Andheri East, Sanjay Nirupam said that it is a futile route and a waste of Rs. 6000 Crores since it is just 5 minutes away from the existing suburban Western Railways. He also pointed out that most of the stations on this line are planned on service roads adjoining the existing flyovers where lands are difficult to be acquired.

Sanjay Nirupam said, “Why are public consultations not held for elevated metro lines in suburbs but are held for every station location in the city for Metro 3? Why is cost always a constraint for all metros in the suburbs even though suburbs generate over 70% property tax revenue as opposed to Metro 3 which has no cost constraint? Since Metro 3 is underground, waterfronts of Marine Drive, Haji Ali and Worli Sea face is not affected. However, the only iconic Powai lake in the suburbs is imposed by two monstrous metro stations.

Sanjay Nirupam also attacked the MMRDA for its claims that the cost of constructing underground metros is three times the cost of constructing elevated metros. Condemning this statement of the MMRDA, Sanjay Nirupam said that it is only 30% the cost of constructing elevated metros. He pointed out the NOC given for height clearance in the sensitive Pawan Hans stretch is a compromise made on the fundamental air safety norms by A.K. Dutta from Airports Authority of India.

Claiming that roads are dug up and barricaded across the city with absolutely no progress in the construction work, Nirupam suggested that all the metro lines which are not being constructed at all like metro line 6 must be scrapped immediately. He also stated that the Congress party will review the state of the metro lines if the party is elected in the upcoming polls.

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