Bombay high court says city needs the metro, advises residents to be pragmatic
Mumbai city news: The court said the Metro was “very important” considering the worsening traffic situation in the citymumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2017 01:08 IST
The Bombay high court has advised those opposing the Mumbai Metro 3 project over the consequent destruction of the city’s green cover to take a “pragmatic view.”
A bench of justice VM Kanade and justice AM Badar said the Metro was “very important” considering the worsening traffic situation in the city.
Justice Kanade said the city should have developed a metro network “30 years ago.”
“These public utility projects should have been operational in the city decades ago and still, people are opposing them, causing further delay,” he said.
The court said several people travelled between north and south Mumbai each day, and thousands others died in road accidents. The Metro 3 project will prove immensely useful for these people and thus, those opposing the project must “first consider the ground situation.”
The HC was hearing an application filed by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) seeking the court’s nod to clear 108 mangroves to build the proposed Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) metro station.
MMRC’s advocate Kiran Bagalia told HC the corporation had permissions from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and it will also undertake compensatory replantation at alternate sites.
Bagalia said although no mangroves would be destroyed for the Dharavi station, the MMRC will still plant 4,000 mangroves in the area after completing construction.
MMRC also argued it had already “lost two months over the same arguments before the Chief Justice’s court that had ultimately granted a go ahead to the project.” The corporation said it had taken “loans from Japan for the project and delays were causing it huge monetary losses on a daily basis.”
However, activists and Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG) claimed the MMRC had misled the environment ministry while garnering permission for the two stations because according to coastal regulation zone (CRZ) rules, no underground construction can be carried out in a CRZ III area.
The bench, however, said the court was “equally concerned about the green cover,” but that activists and residents must not take an adversarial stand over public utility projects.
The court will take up the matter for further hearing on June 13.