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No ‘green restriction’ for Metro on Mutha riverbed as NGT clears project

After an investigation, NGT has ruled that Metro work on Mutha riverbed is not significantly damaging the environment and has recommended a set of guidelines

pune Updated: Aug 04, 2018 16:56 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Metro work,Mutha river
Sarang Yadwadkar, a city-based activist, in his petition, had raised concern over the environmental and ecological consequences of constructing a Metro route on the riverbed. Consequently, NGT constituted a committee to study the impact of the proposed 1.4km route on the river bed. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

The National green tribunal (NGT), on Friday, ruled in favour of Maharashtra Metro rail corporation limited (Maha-Metro), in a case related to a petition filed by city environmentalists raising concerns over the Mutha river bed being negatively affected by the ongoing Metro work .

Sarang Yadwadkar, a city-based activist, in his petition, had raised concern over the environmental and ecological consequences of constructing a Metro route on the river bed. Consequently, NGT constituted a committee to study the impact of the proposed 1.4km route on the river bed.

“We respect the court’s decision. We have not received the court’s order as of now. After receiving it, we will discuss the same with our legal teams and will decide the further course of action. It will not be appropriate for me to comment on whether we will approach the Supreme Court as of now,” said Yadwadkar.

The committee, in its report submitted to NGT, had given 15 recommendations to make sure that the project has a low impact on the environment, which was accepted by Maha-Metro. Following this, a four-judge bench, presided over by justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, ruled in favour of Maha-Metro.

Brijesh Dixit, managing director, Maha-Metro, said,“Maha-Metro remains committed to sustainable development and will be implementing all mitigation measures suggested by the NGT’s expert committee.”

Welcoming the decision, Pramod Ahuja, executive director for underground Metro rail, Pune, said, “NGT’s ruling is a big success for us. We will abide by all the instructions given by the committee. It was one of the major challenges before us, which has now been cleared.”

AK Mishra, a senior advocate, said, “NGT’s court has also ordered the committee to carry out inspections of the work on site to ensure the Maha-Metro is abiding by the instructions. If there are any violations, the committee has been asked to report back to the court.”

Meanwhile, Maha-Metro has decided to float tenders for the proposed underground Metro routes in the city.

Ahuja said, “We will be floating three tenders in the next month for the proposed underground routes. We are hoping that the entire process finishes in the next two months and work begins by November.”

He added, “Underground Metro work will require heavy machinery to break rocks, which will take time. However, in the meantime, we will start the work of stations and other entities.”

First Published: Aug 04, 2018 16:50 IST