Mumbai, June 13 (IANS) Any land required for constructing the Mumbai Metro Line 3 will be acquired only after following due process and ensuring the resettlement of and compensation to the affected people, a top official said here on Saturday.
Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) Managing Director Ashwini Bhide said that only two hectares of land is required permanently and another 1.5 hectares on a temporary basis, spread over 121 areas in the city.
Most of the land is open, barring Girgaum and Kalbadevi, and Dadar in south Mumbai where a few homes and shops would be affected by the 33.5-km-long Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro Line 3, she said.
Notices have been issued to the affected families to obtain their views. For negotiations as provided under the law, a Hearing Committee has been set up and a Compensation Committee headed by retired IAS officer Sudhir Thackeray has been established.
“This committee will look into the views of residents who have been issued notices and only after it has decided an appropriate compensation, the lands will be acquired,” Bhide asserted.
Referring to certain media reports — not IANS’ – she urged the affected residents to come forward and respond to the MMRC and not be misled by half-baked information that “it is an effort to bulldoze away Marathi homes”.
Bhide’s statement came in the wake of threats of stiff opposition by some PAPs (project-affected persons) and MPs and threats by political parties that they would not allow the construction of Mumbai Metro Line 3 as it would displace locals living there for decades.
Referring to the proposed acquisition in Dadar, Bhide said only eight families of Satish Gupte House would be affected and since there is no other open space in that area, this particular dilapidated building is being acquired by MMRC, but only after giving the residents a proper hearing and appropriate compensation.
Terming the issue being twisted out of context as “painful,” Bhide said it is quite inexplicable why hurdles are being created regularly with threats of agitation.
“The MMRC has time and again assured and made it clear that the PAPs will be relocated in the same area after having discussion with them. We have issued public notices and our officers are disseminating project details as diligently as possible,” Bhide said.
Terming the role of the PAPs, media and peoples’ representatives as “very shocking”, she appealed to Mumbaikars to help the Mumbai Metro Line 3 as it would help decongest the suburban trains and save 15-20 valuable lives lost daily.