Work on the city’s Metro lines has hit a roadblock as stone quarries that supply a bulk of construction material have been shut since April 1.
Officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) — the nodal agency for the projects — said the 70 Navi Mumbai quarries were their largest source of raw materials. They said the pace of construction work on the Dahisar (East)– Andheri (East) Metro 7 corridor and the Dahisar–DN Nagar Metro 2A corridor has been hit as 60% of construction material comes from quarries in Turbhe.
“We are facing a lot of problems owing to a lack of construction material,” said Pravin Darade, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA. He said officials have not assessed how long the overall construction will be delayed by.“We have to see how long the quarries remain shut, but are trying to find a solution before the monsoon ends,” he said.
A Navi Mumbai resident had filed a petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), saying the quarries were one of the major causes of pollution in the city, and seeking to close them. Though there is no official ban on quarrying, the Thane collector’s office stopped collecting royalty after the petition and mining has been discontinued.
Several other projects were also hit owing to a lack of raw materials. Recently, road contractors did not respond to the MMRDA’s call for pre-monsoon road repairs.
J Kumar Infra Projects is carrying out civil construction of Metro 2A and the Metro 7 stretch between Aarey junction in Goregaon and the Mahindra&Mahindra junction in Kandivli. Nalin Gupta, its managing director said the material available is just 25% of what the firm needs. “A lot of projects have been hit. The MMRDA is trying to come up with a solution,” Gupta told HT.
Darade said that as the leases of several quarries have expired, the regional planning body plans ask the state government to hand them over to the MMRDA
“We will ask the state for two quarries, which will help us finish projects faster,” he said.