The Bombay High Court Tuesday asked the Central Railway and the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to inform it about the protective measures they planned to take with the onset of monsoon to ensure that railway services are not disrupted. There are hutments constructed over and around the railway tunnels which often affect the railway services.
The court had earlier asked the state government to rehabilitate the people living in such hutments immediately, which has not been done so far. It has now asked the state to come up with a policy to rehabilitate them within a week. “The state and the civic body should inform us about the steps they plan to take to prevent any further construction from taking place in the area,” said Justice A S Oka.
Pointing out that the state should first move such people from the area before deciding their eligibility, the bench further said if they did not do so the court would be compelled to ask the corporation to serve notices to such hutments and start demolishing them.
Earlier, residents of such hutments had filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking a stay on any action being taken against them. The same was granted on July 20, 2016. A civil application was then filed by the Central Railway seeking vacating the stay. “Under the Parsik Tunnel, there are two railway tracks. During the monsoon, the entire water of the hill top area flows down and passes through the tunnel. It also causes over flooding on both tracks resulting in not only effecting train services but also damaging the signal system of the railways,” reads the civil application.
The court was told the entire area around Parsik Tunnel was with the forest department. “There are 109 unauthorised huts on top of the area of Parsik Tunnel and 575 huts in the rest of the area which causes nuisance.taking into consideration the coming monsoon season and in order to avoid any untoward incident, disaster of land sliding within the tunnel, putting the health and life of the hutments as well as the railways passengers into danger, it is necessary to remove the hutments on top of the Parsik Tunnel,” reads the application.
In 2016, during heavy rainfall, a landslide caution near Parsik Tunnel near Mumbra had severely affected the suburban train operations.