The MMRDA has told the Bombay High Court that it arrived at a decision to construct the Metro 2B line overground after considering all the aspects, including its pros and cons.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), in an affidavit filed yesterday, also told the court that it was a "conscious decision" based on technical, scientific and other material considered by experts.
The proposed Metro 2B line will connect the city's western and eastern suburbs.
"MMRDA and the state government has taken into consideration all the aspects of the project, including the pros and cons of underground and elevated Metro, and have taken a conscious decision to go for elevated Metro in so far as Metro 2B and 2A lines are concerned," the affidavit filed by MMRDA executive engineer Bhushan Mhaiske said.
The affidavit was submitted in response to a petition filed by the Juhu Vile Parle Development Cooperative Housing Association, the Gulmohar area society welfare group, and the Balabhai Nanavati Hospital in the city opposing the proposed alignment of the Metro 2B line.
The petitioners sought for the line to be constructed underground similar to the Metro III Colaba-Seepz line.
However, the MMRDA in its affidavit said that the benefits of an elevated Metro line are more than an underground line in terms of finance and time.
"It is not possible to make Metro 2B line partly underground and partly elevated as it entails huge land requirement for location of facilities for going underground and coming overground. Such land is not available," the affidavit said.
"The construction of underground Metro takes over six years, while an elevated line can be completed within four years," it said.
"Besides the time factor, the cost is more than 5.5 times. An elevated Metro line costs Rs 95 crore per kilometre, whereas an underground line costs Rs 540 crore per kilometre," MMRDA said.
The petitioners cannot decide whether the Metro line should be underground or elevated as it a "highly technical issue" requiring scientific experience, it said.
"The Metro 2B line from D N Nagar to Mankhurd is a project of great public importance for the public transport and it is conceived to create a world class infrastructure for meeting the needs of the city residents," the affidavit said.
A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla yesterday posted the petition for further hearing on July 13.
"The earlier statement made by MMRDA that at this stage they are only carrying out soil testing work for the line and will not carry out any further work, shall carry on till the next date of hearing," the court said.