Extending the third line of Tehran's underground metro is in limbo since a shopping center, Atlas Mall, has received the license for building a six-level parking garage on the route of the line, the Tehran municipality's transport deputy has disclosed.
Atlas Mall is owned by the "Ansar Bank" which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.
The construction of the extension is halted since the location of a tunnel on its route is occupied by Atlas Mall for its future parking garage, said Mohsen Poor-Seyyed Aqaei, adding, "The whole project for the extension will be held until a substitute route is found."
Tehran Mayor's deputy for transport also believes that lucrative building benefits have led Atlas Mall to allocate the spot to its six-level parking garage, with 1400 spaces.
The commercial complex, comprising of nineteen floors, including eight floors for offices, four floors for shops, and stores, one ground level restaurant, and a six-level parking garage, is built on a deep foundation that will practically not allow any underground railway route built near its surroundings, Poor Seyyed Aqaei has lamented.
Meanwhile, Poor-Seyyed Aqaei has admitted that attempts to find a substitute route for the line have failed, so far.
Atlas Mall project has been one of the most controversial projects in recent years in the Iranian capital city, Tehran.
The mall has secured a license to build its parking garage at a spot already legally endorsed for building a new tunnel for extending the Third Line of Tehran's underground railway.
Meanwhile, scores of experts and members of the Tehran City Council have protested building the highrise tower, since it will limit the view of the nearby Niavaran palace-museum.
Moreover, they believe that excavating for the foundation of the towers has led to cracks on the palace's south wing.