Ensure safety of Petit building, MMRC told
T he Bombay high court on Friday asked Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation to first comply with an expert independent panel’s recommendations to fortify 28 finials on J N Petit Library building, among other things, and submit a report to the court before commencing work outside the heritage building.
“We are not saying we won’t give permission,” said a bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Nitin Jamdar when Metro-III counsel Kiran sought permission to continue the work, which she said was getting delayed and added that the petitioning Petit trustees “may not be satisfied with anything”. The court was hearing a petition by trustees of the building on the heritage mile on D N Road where, they said, work on the underground Metro-III work had caused a finial to fall.
A court-appointed committee had visited the building on September 25 and said that precautions must be put in place first. “Until they carry out satisfactory measures, they cannot be permitted to carry on with drilling work,” said the trustees counsel Fredun DeVitre. The high court said an expert panel must be suggested for every problem as every building cannot keep coming to court, but it did not allow Metro-III work, which has been put on hold last month, to proceed till some pre-emptive measures are taken.
The panel had recommended that there should be 28 finials, 10 base plates, a “support system in form of steel trestles” must be put in place and a dedicated vibration monitoring device be installed in the building during construction activities around it. MMRC, in its reply, said it would implement the recommendations by supporting eight of them and said all other work would be done before the start of excavation in front of J N Petit.