HC to Mumbai Metro-3: How will you protect JN Petit Institute at Fort?
The Bombay high court has prevented excavation and construction work in front of the building or in its garden till thenmumbai Updated: Oct 06, 2017 12:29 IST
The Bombay high court directed Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) to file an affidavit disclosing how it planned to protect the iconic JN Petit Institute at Fort from possible damage owing to work on the Metro-3.
The directive came on Thursday, after a three-member expert committee appointed by the court submitted a report.
The committee, comprising a representative each of the petitioners — a trustee of JN Petit Institute, one of MMRCL and an independent expert from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay — recommended that vulnerable elements of the heritage structure, such as finials above its roof and certain cantilever projections, need additional support before work begins.
A bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice Nitin Jamdar restrained the MMRCL from carrying out excavation and construction work in front of the building or in its garden till then.
The petitioners said the grade-2A heritage structure was constructed in 1893 and has a shallow foundation — barely three-meters deep — which renders it vulnerable.
The Institute houses more than a lakh books, including 24,000 rare books and 12 manuscripts, some of which date back to the 17th century.
The petitioners said that after drilling for Metro-3 began along DN Road in May, an ornamental feature of the building collapsed and garden tiles sunk.They said the intensity of the vibrations caused by the hammering — measured by an expert appointed by the Institute — was found to be 20 mm/second, which is four times the permissible limit.
They said the drilling and construction work would affect the building’s structural stability. They said severe vibrations were felt even when drilling was ongoing at DN Road — a little away from the Institute. They said they thus wrote to Larsen&Toubro and MMRCL officials.
Though Ron Mickell, project manager for Metro-3, responded to their mail, saying “the concern would be investigated and appropriate action will be taken to redress it”, no action has been taken yet, they said.