MahaMetro to approach NMA for construction near Aga Khan Palace

ST CORRESPONDENT
Monday, 11 February 2019

As per the revised act for the preservation of national monuments, every area beginning at the limit of the protected area/monument, extending to a distance of one hundred metres in all directions shall be a prohibited area. Officials of MahaMetro are saying that they will request NMA to allow construction of metro near the entrance gate of Aga Khan Palace.

PUNE: While the officials of Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MahaMetro) have already started their work of soil testing in Kalyani Nagar, following the protest from some residents, MahaMetro is now planning to submit a revised petition to the National Monument Authority (NMA) and request them to allow metro construction near Aga Khan Palace or look for some other solution. 

As per the revised act for the preservation of national monuments, every area beginning at the limit of the protected area/monument, extending to a distance of one hundred metres in all directions shall be a prohibited area. Officials of MahaMetro are saying that they will request NMA to allow construction of metro near the entrance gate of Aga Khan Palace, as there is space between the entrance gate and the actual monument, which will not be harmed once the metro is constructed.

On Friday, Guardian Minister Girish Bapat said that he will be travelling to Delhi soon and visit the NMA office to look for a solution on the metro issue near Aga Khan palace.

“The State government is of the view that instead of changing the metro alignment, it would be better to construct an underground metro near the Aga Khan Palace if it is allowed by the NMA. We can also look at taking the Viman Nagar route. What matters to us is ridership and we will see which route gives us the best ridership,” Bapat added.

However, MahaMetro officials said that the Viman Nagar or Yerawada route is not feasible due to defence land near Aga Khan Palace. The NMA had denied permission to Mahametro for carrying out the metro work near Aga Khan Palace. 

Bapat said, “MahaMetro has suggested an alternate route from Kalyani Nagar but there is more ridership on the existing metro route, which is going from Ahmednagar Road. We can also ask NMA for an underground route.”

As per MahaMetro officials, underground metro costs Rs 100-150 crore more per kilometre compared to elevated metro. The residents of Kalyani Nagar are protesting against the metro claiming it would harm the biodiversity in the area, as the route passes through greenery and planned Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.

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