Green tribunal rejects Mumbai Metro firm’s plea to lift stay on work at Aarey Colony car shed
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Green tribunal rejects Mumbai Metro firm’s plea to lift stay on work at Aarey Colony car shed

The National Green Tribunal rejected MMRCL’s plea, said matter will be heard on July 10, as originally decided.

mumbai Updated: Jun 15, 2018 12:37 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Aarey,Mumbai Metro,Mumbai
NGT has restrained MMRCL from carrying out any debris dumping, reclamation of land and felling of trees in Aarey Milk Colony till July 10. (HT FILE)

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) moved an urgent application before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Delhi, on Thursday, asking the environmental body to lift the stay order on the Metro 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) work at Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon (East).

MMRCL said that the stay was affecting the work at the site. The NGT rejected MMRCL’s application and has kept the matter for hearing in July, as originally decided.

On May 14, NGT Delhi had upheld an August 2015 order by NGT Pune that called for a stay on the construction and restrained the MMRCL from carrying out any debris dumping, reclamation of land and cutting of trees at the area allotted for the Metro 3 car shed till July 10, the next date for hearing.

The miscellaneous application called for an urgent hearing on Thursday itself and pleaded that MMRCL be permitted to carry out construction work at the 33-hectare car shed area allotted to it by the state government. It also pleaded that since the area fell outside the eco-sensitive zone of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, there was no need for permissions from statutory bodies such as Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Aarey authorities.

When HT reached out to MMRCL, they refused to comment in the matter. However, MMRCL’s counsel said the application was only made to expedite the procedure for tree cutting at Aarey.

READ: Aarey: Now a forest, now not a forest

“NGT’s last order stayed dumping, tree cutting and reclamation. Though MMRCL is not carrying out dumping or reclamation, we did make an application to BMC’s tree authority for tree cutting. The tree authority is reluctant to process the application citing the stay from NGT. On that basis, we moved this application to vacate the stay. We are pressing for an earlier hearing so that the tree authority can process our application,” said advocate Kiran Bhagalia, counsel for MMRCL.

MMRCL’s application read the Metro is a much-needed project to alleviate the severe traffic congestion in the city.

“It is submitted that the order dated May 14, 2018, is urgently required to be vacated. The union government and state government have equal stakes in the project. The project is funded partly with funds of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Delay in execution has far reaching effects on the viability of the project and severe adverse cost implications on public exchequer,” read MMRCL’s application.

The application further referred to August 19, 2015 order from NGT Pune that issued the stay and stated the order was not applicable in the current scenario.

“The said order needs to be modified/clarified/vacated at least in its application to the metro construction activities, as the premises in which the order was passed has undergone substantial change. The applicant submits that the construction of the car shed and allied construction of Metro Line 3 is now imminent,” the application read.

NGO Vanashakti is an applicant in the matter.

Stalin D, director of NGO Vanashakti said “In a sub judice matter, which is being heard at NGT, these are arrogant and shocking statements.”

First Published: Jun 15, 2018 12:36 IST