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  Metros   Mumbai  27 Oct 2018  Court dismisses PIL against metro car shed construction

Court dismisses PIL against metro car shed construction

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 27, 2018, 1:45 am IST
Updated : Oct 27, 2018, 1:45 am IST

State and BMC to monitor the construction work in case of violation.

Car shed will be come up on 33 ha of land.
 Car shed will be come up on 33 ha of land.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has dismissed a PIL filed against the change of proposed metro rail car shed on 33 acres of land in Aarey colony from no development zone. The court has said that the state government and BMC will have to monitor if there are any violations during the construction.

A bench of Justices S.C. Dharamadhikari and P.D. Naik was hearing a PIL filed by activist Amrita Bhattacharjee and Activist Zoru Bathena. The PIL had challenged notifications dated August 24, 2017 and November 9, 2017 sanctioning part of the Development Plan 2034, and modified the classification of the land from green zone to Mumbai Metro 3 car depot. The petition alleged that notifications are illegal as it has been issued without first obtaining permission under the Forest Conservation Act 1980 and issued without first obtaining permission under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

However, the state argued that the land in question is not a forestland or reserved as forest and hence the state’s actions were justified and legal.

The court in its judgment held that it had found no illegality in the state’s decision to approve the construction of the car shed in 165-hectare plot in Aarey Milk Colony in the city. It further held that the petitioners, who are environmental activ-ists and NGOs, had failed to prove that the proposed site for the construction work was part of the forestland or an eco-sensitive zone.

The court directed the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to follow all conditions imp-osed by the state and the BMC on the construction work. It also directed the state and the BMC to ensure that the MMRC complied with the restrictions on tree cutting, carrying out compensatory re-plantation, and other environmental norms.

The court noted that though 1,287 hectares of the Aarey Milk Colony adjoining the Sanjay Gandhi National Park had been notified as an eco-sensitive zone in 2016, the said 165 hectare plot was not part of the eco-sensitive zone.

The bench in its judgment noted that the state’s land records and development plans did not show any illegal modifications. It said, the state had approved the construction work in consonance with all statutory and environmental rules.

The court also made it clear that “The permission for construction is not unconditional, a host of prior sanctions, approvals, and monitoring and supervisory mechanisms are already in place,” It added that the BMC and the state were free to revoke the permission for the construction of the car shed in case the MMRC violated any norms or conditions.

Tags: aarey colony, metro car shed, development plan 2034