NGT has rejected MMRCL’S plea to lift stay order on car shed work in Aarey Milk Colony
MUMBAI:THE Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) moved an urgent application before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Delhi, on Thursday, asking the environmental body to lift the stay order on the Metro 3 (Colaba-bandraseepz) work at Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon (East).
MMRCL said that the stay was affecting the work at the site. The NGT rejected MMRCL’S application and has kept the matter for hearing in July, as originally decided. On May 14, NGT Delhi had upheld an August 2015 order by NGT Pune that called for a stay on the construction and restrained the MMRCL from carrying out any debris dumping, reclamation of land and cutting of trees at the area allotted for the Metro 3 car shed till July 10, the next date for hearing.
The miscellaneous application called for an urgent hearing on Thursday itself and pleaded that MMRCL be permitted to carry out construction work at the 33 hectare car shed area allotted to it by the state government.
It also pleaded that since the area fell outside the eco-sensitive zone of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, there was no need for permissions from statutory bodies such as Brihanmumbai respondents (MMRC) from dumping debris, reclamation, and cutting of trees during the pendency of the application,” read the order passed by the NGT bench of justice Raghuvendra S Rathore and expert member Dr Satyawan S Garbyal
The matter is next listed on July 10.
Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Aarey authorities. When HT reached out to MMRCL, they refused to comment in the matter. However, MMRCL’S counsel said the application was only made to
HOW IT ALL STARTED
In June 2015, NGO Vanashakti and NGO Aarey Conservation Group filed a petition with NGT’S western bench in Pune, seeking long-term protection for Aarey and asking that it be considered a forest. The petition also sought the allocation of the Metro 3 car shed to a different location.
expedite the procedure for tree cutting at Aarey.
“NGT’S last order stayed dumping, tree cutting and reclamation. Though MMRCL is not carrying out dumping or reclamation, we did make an application
METRO-3 to BMC’S tree authority for tree cutting. The tree authority is reluctant to process the application citing the stay from NGT.
On that basis, we moved this application to vacate the stay. We are pressing for an earlier hearing so that the tree authority can process our application,” said advocate Kiran Bhagalia, counsel for MMRCL. MMRCL’S application read the Metro is a much-needed project to alleviate the severe traffic congestion in the city.
“It is submitted that the order dated May 14, 2018, is urgently required to be vacated. The union government and state government have equal stakes in the project. The project is funded partly with funds of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Delay in execution has far reaching effects on the viability of the project and severe adverse cost implications on public exchequer,” read MMRCL’S application.
The application further referred to August 19, 2015 order from NGT Pune that issued the stay and stated the order was not applicable in the current scenario.
NGO Vanashakti is an applicant in the matter.
Stalin D, director of NGO Vanashakti said “In a sub judice matter, which is being heard at NGT, these are arrogant and shocking statements.”
MMRCL cannot dump debris or cut trees in Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon, till July 10.