All clear for Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro

MMRDA strikes deal with temple, gets full right of way.

The route is now clear for Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro. Removing the last hurdle in land acquisition, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has reached an agreement with a temple obstructing construction of the proposed Asalfa Metro Station.

With this, it has obtained 100 per cent right of way, or complete ownership of land, along the entire alignment of the first Metro corridor of the city, more than four years after the construction started.

"The temple trust has agreed let go of a portion of its roof. Now, all issues have been sorted out and it's purely a question of construction speed," said Rahul Asthana, metropolitan commissioner at MMRDA.

An official working on the project said a part of the temple roof was coming in way of the staircase to Asalfa Metro Station. Construction of the staircase started on Tuesday, he said.

The state government had issued a notification to the temple trust last year to hand over land to MMRDA.

Following this, the authority razed a few commercial establishments on the temple premises to widen road.

MMRDA had to negotiate with the temple and a mosque near Andheri station to get full right of way for the 11.4-km Metro.

Last week, it reached a settlement with the mosque to demolish a minaret to build a bridge over the suburban railway tracks in Andheri.

As per a contract with Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited, the consortium in charge of executing the project, MMRDA was to hand over complete right of way to the special purpose vehicle by the middle of 2008.

Accordingly, MMRDA had expected the Metro to be ready in 2011.

Now, the authority expects the construction to be completed next year.

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