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NGT asks MMRC to show permits to lay stabling lines for Metro-3 inside Aarey colony

MUMBAI CITY NEWS The order came in response to a miscellaneous application filed by an NGO alleging that trees were axed at the site and work had commenced without proper permissions

mumbai Updated: Jun 27, 2017 10:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
MUMBAI CITY NEWS,Metro-3,Aarey Milk Colony
Work underway at the Metro-3 construction site inside Aarey colony. (HT file )

The National Green Tribunal (NGT), western bench, issued a notice to the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), asking it produce construction permits for building a lay stabling lines (tracks) for Metro-3 inside Aarey Milk Colony.

The NGT on Monday asked the MMRC counsel to submit necessary documents after non-governmental organisation Vanashakti submitted a miscellaneous application alleging that trees were axed at the site and work had commenced without proper permissions.

The applicants also said that the counsel representing the Brihanmumbai Municiapl Corporation (BMC) told the NGT bench that the civic body has not issued any permission to the MMRC to chop trees for the Metro-3 project.

On January 5, an area inside Aarey was given to the MMRC for Metro-3 project after the NGT accepted its plea to construct a casting yard on 3-hectare land, allotted by the state, subject to mandatory clearances. The applicant claimed that the civic body has not given any permission to the MMRC for tree cutting at the site.

In June 2016, NGOs Vanashakti and Aarey Conservation Group (ACG) filed a petition with the NGT seeking long-term protection for Aarey and to maintain it no-development zone status. The NGT has put a stay on all kinds of constructional activities inside Aarey until final orders.

“Unlike earlier hearings, this time the MMRC did not make the claim of having all permissions. We produced records of the pollution control board and the municipal corporation, stating that no tree-felling permissions was given to the MMRC,” said Stalin D, director, Vanashakti. “It is clear that the MMRC has no permissions for construction inside Aarey.”

MMRC officials refused to comment in the matter.

During the last hearing in April, the forest department had submitted survey numbers of forest land identified in 1997 but did not annex specific proformas along with the documents. The NGT bench on Monday asked the department to submit all annexures of the records by the next hearing. Forest department officials said they will be submitting the documents in the next 10 days.

Bidding adieu

Environmentalists and nature lovers held a candle light vigil at J Tata Road, Churchgate, to bid farewell to the hundreds of trees that will be axed for the Metro-3 project. “We wanted to spend the evening in the company of these trees that have been our family and given us shade for all these years. Like-minded citizens have come together to appreciate what these trees have given us and hope they will forgive the cruelty we are subjecting them to,” said Archana Ramgaonkar, a Colaba resident.

First Published: May 23, 2017 00:34 IST