The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) clarified that cricket at both Oval and Azad Maidan in South Mumbai will not be completely affected during construction of the proposed underground Colaba-Seepz Metro corridor.
The metro plan was criticised by locals who alleged that cricket will be completely disturbed and both the grounds will be usurped by the impending construction of the corridor.
“Cricket pitches or matches at the Oval maidan will not be disturbed during the construction of the Metro-3 corridor,” Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) Managing Director Ashwini Bhide said in a statement.
MMRC is the implementing agency for the Metro projects under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
However, Bhide said a few cricket pitches at Azad Maidan will be required to be relocated and the MMRC is working closely with the sports department to ensure that majority of the cricketing activity continues at Azad Maidan.
“The entire Oval Maidan is spread over 90,000 sq mt of and the metro corridor will temporarily require 3,900 sq mt, which is nearly four per cent of the entire ground, towards its north only during the project implementation period of 3-4 years and will be restored and returned post construction,” she said.
Since the plot required is very small and is towards the northern side of the ground, there is no likelihood of causing any disturbance to the cricketing activity at the Oval, Bhide added.
As far as the 2 lakh sqmt Azad Maidan is concerned, the corridor temporarily requires 32,687 sq mt, 16 per cent of the entire ground, behind the Mumbai Press Club which will also be restored.
“The corridor will require only 1,000 sqmt of Azad Maidan permanently,” she added.