MUMBAI: Lata Mangeshkar’s stand on the proposed flyover at Peddar Road has not changed over the years.
On Saturday, the singer told DNA that it is time for people to come together and oppose the project. “One individual cannot make a difference, everyone has to come together to take a stand in public,” she said. “We will first have to talk to the chief minister. If this flyover comes up, there will be problems. We will have to bring a stay order on the work, but we will need to talk to our lawyers first.”
Mangeshkar was among the first to protest against the flyover. In 2001, she brought the residents of Peddar Road together and led a delegation to Chief Minister Vilas Deshmukh. The move succeeded in grounding the project.
Veena Singhal, president of the Peddar Road Residents’ Association, accused the government of favouring builders. “Studies by the Indian Institute Technology at Powai have clearly indicated that vehicular emissions are high in this belt and there is an earthquake fault line running along Peddar Road,” she said.
Singhal said a delegation of residents will go to New Delhi to meet environment ministry officials. The residents hope Mumbai's politicians will support them. They say South Mumbai MP Milind Deora has assured them that the flyover would not come up.
Deora told DNA that he would have to understand the reasons for the government's decision to go ahead with the project. "I still maintain that the government should focus on long-term solutions to link one part of the city to another," he said.
Public Works Minister Anil Deshmukh said the government is awaiting clearance from the Union environment ministry.