Maharashtra denies to give details on Metro-3 car shed report
The Maharashtra government has stated that the report submitted by a panel led by state chief secretary Sanjay Kumar on Metro-3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) and Metro-6 (Swami Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli) car shed is under “government consideration”, and refused to share details on a right to information (RTI) query filed by HT.
In a reply received on February 8, the state urban development department said, “The report submitted by the said committee is under government consideration. Therefore, it is not possible to share details of the report.” Following an interim order by the Bombay high court (HC) to stop work on the proposed car shed at Kanjurmarg, the state government had formed a panel to weigh between Aarey and Kanjurmarg. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had, in October 2020, announced the government’s decision to shift the car shed from the contested Aarey Colony plot to Kanjurmarg.
While officials had confirmed that the committee submitted its report backing Kanjurmarg on January 21, the report has not been released publicly. Since 2015, this is the third committee to deliberate and submit a report on the car shed for Metro-3. The government had earlier established committees under the then metropolitan commissioner UPS Madan and additional chief secretary Manoj Saunik.
RTI activists, HT spoke to, on Monday said the state cannot deny information on this matter.
Anil Galgali, a well-known RTI activist from Mumbai, said, “This is wrong on the state government’s part. In fact, they must state the clause under which the information is being denied.”
Naseer Jahagirdar, advocate and activist said information can be denied only under section 8 of the RTI Act which looks at exemption from disclosure of information. “Information cannot be denied on the grounds that the report is under government consideration. In fact, a report like this must, by default, be made public,” Jahagirdar said.