Stop Mumbai Metro-3 work between 10pm and 6am, says Bombay HC
The Bombay high court on Friday temporarily restrained the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) from carrying out any construction or ancillary work on the Metro 3 line between 10pm and 6am.
A division bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice Nitin Jamdar issued a restraining order after noticing that the MMRCL had no permission to carry out the work at night. Applicant, advocate Robin Jaisinghani, complained work on the Metro line was being carried out in violation of noise pollution rules and an August 2016 judgment of the high court holding that no noise emitting equipment can be used in residential areas in the night time i.e. between 10pm and 6am.
The 50-year-old resident of Dalamal Tower in Cuffe Parade highlighted that Metro construction work had received a nod from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) with one of the conditions being no construction activities at night time. “Despite these rules, noise levels exceed 90 to 100 db at any point in time,” he said.
Noise Pollution Control Rules prescribe maximum noise levels of 55dB during the day and 45 dB at night in a residential zone and 50 dB and 40 dB during the day and night in Silence Zones.
Advocate Kiran Bagalia, who represented MMRCL, informed the bench the corporation had applied to the authorities concerned seeking permission to continue construction work even at night and the application was pending. The bench disapproved the approach of the corporation saying it could not have started work at night in anticipation of permission. “How are you carrying out work at night when no permission has been granted yet,” the bench sought to know from the lawyer.
According to Jaisinghani, on February 8 this year, construction activity continued till 4am. The next day, when he visited the contractor’s site office and requested them to comply with noise rules, a heated exchange took place and close to 20 people employed by the contractor purportedly surrounded and intimated him. “I was told that I would be beaten up if I entered the site again,” he said.
The lawyer has, therefore, sought a direction to the MMRCL to ensure that noise caused by the construction activity does not exceed limits prescribed under the noise rules and no activity is carried out at night i.e. between 10pm and 6am.
He has also sought compensation of Rs10,000 a day each for him, his wife and two school-going daughters on account of the suffering and hardship caused to them by the construction work noise at night.