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Hear out Metro work contractors: HC to additional collector

The bench was, on April 30, hearing a petition filed by the joint venture seeking a refund of the royalty amount paid by them to the additional collector’s officer for excavating minor minerals.

mumbai Updated: May 11, 2019 02:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
Metro work contractors,HC,Bombay HC
The Bombay high court (HC) last week directed the additional collector of Mumbai to conduct a hearing of a joint venture seeking a refund from his office.

The Bombay high court (HC) last week directed the additional collector of Mumbai to conduct a hearing of a joint venture seeking a refund from his office. The venture, which includes Tata Projects Limited and its partners, was carrying out excavation work for the Metro near the Siddhivinayak Temple in Dadar.

The bench was, on April 30, hearing a petition filed by the joint venture seeking a refund of the royalty amount paid by them to the additional collector’s officer for excavating minor minerals. A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and MS Sanklecha was informed that the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) had given a contract to the joint venture to conduct excavation work for the Metro near Siddhivinayak and Sitladevi temples. The additional collector’s office had granted the venture permission to carry out the work under the Maharashtra Minor Mineral Excavation (Development and Regulation) Rules, 2013.

The additional collector’s office then asked the petitioners to pay a royalty fee for excavation for 648 brass of minor minerals. The venture paid the amount. However, in its plea to HC, it contended that excavation involved only “ordinary earth” and no minerals. The additional collector’s decision was based on the 2013 Rules, which state “ordinary earth” used for filling or levelling in construction of embankments, roads, railways and buildings be considered as “minor minerals.”

The bench asked the additional collector if he ascertained the excavated material was minor mineral or ordinary earth, and if the mud was used for any of purposes mentioned in the Rules. The HC disposed of the petition, stating ordinary earth doesn’t come under ambit of minor minerals and the additional collector should adjudicate by August 31.

First Published: May 11, 2019 02:18 IST