Metro panel suggests Kanjurmarg as alternative to Aarey for Metro-III Car Depot

aareyMumbai: The committee appointed to find an alternative to Aarey Colony for the Metro III car depot has recommended Kanjurmarg as the site for the facility. A formal decision is for the chief minister to take.

The committee, headed by the commissioner of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), UPS Madan, submitted the report on Wednesday.

At Aarey, 2,298 trees were obstructing the proposed car shed plan for Metro III (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz). Of them, 2,044 were to be transplanted and 254 needed to be cut. The contract to build the depot, worth Rs 130 crore, was awarded in July, but work stalled because of protests. Environmental activists opposed the plan on the grounds that transplantation rarely works.

An MMRDA official said that shifting the depot will entail an extension of the 32.5km corridor by 8-10km up to Kanjurmarg.

MMRDA had already proposed to build a Metro line between Kanjurmarg and Seepz in the master plan approved in 2004. The official said, “This line—to be elevated—will now merge with the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground corridor. Because of the extension, the project cost will increase by Rs 2,000 crore. We hope that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) will increase the loan amount.”

Jica has sanctioned Rs 13,235 crore for the Metro III project. If Jica does not loan the additional sum, the state will try to raise resources, the official said.

For the depot, the committee examined various options, including Backbay Reclamation, Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) land, Bandra-Kurla Complex, the university campus at Kalina and Dharavi. “None had adequate land for the depot,” said an official.