Green­tri­bunalred­flags Metro­carshed

NGT has re­jected MMRCL’S plea to lift stay or­der on car shed work in Aarey Milk Colony

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - Badri Chat­ter­jee

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.

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