The Bombay High Court Thursday said it was not possible to put a permanent stop to the Metro III project, pointing out that citizens needed to “compromise and sacrifice” for the sake of infrastructure development. It has now directed the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) to inform the court about the time schedule required for completing the work at Cuffe Parade.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice NM Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by a resident of Cuffe Parade, claiming that the Metro construction activity in close proximity to his house was causing stress and anxiety to him and his family, including two young daughters, owing to the excessive noise.
Acting on the petition, the court had in August restrained MMRCL from carrying out any construction or ancillary work on the Metro III line between 10 pm and 6 am. On Thursday, however, the court called for a balanced approach. It said the citizens had to compromise and put up with the inconvenience caused by the Metro construction, which was necessary for the decongestion of city roads. At the same time, the HC held that residents could not be subjected to prolonged inconvenience and asked MMRCL to submit a time frame for construction. “You (MMRCL) cannot carry on work each night for a whole year,” the court said. MMRC levels areas of Mithi riverbed, green activists raise red flag
Earlier, seeking reconsideration of the order to halt work at night, Advocate General A A Kumbhakoni told the court that MMRCL had examined all aspects of controlling the noise levels. “If we carry out the work we are doing at night during the day, we will have to stop traffic completely in the area,” Kumbhakoni said.
He said MMRCL was carrying out underground tunnelling work in the area. “In the daytime, we carry out excavation and at night we move the earth that has been excavated,” he said.
“We understand that there has to be compromise and sacrifice by people, too. We cannot permanently stop the project. There needs to be a balance. If such work is necessary, it has to be permitted. Let the MMRCL file an affidavit stating what work they are carrying out at night and the time-schedule required for completing the same,” said the Chief Justice.
The court, while taking into consideration the importance of the project, said it could not overlook the concerns of the area residents. “This area has a lot of residential buildings, including residences of judges and government officials. With the final examination approaching, the sound from metro work will also disturb schoolchildren,” the Chief Justice said.
Meanwhile, a lawyer sought to file an intervention application on behalf of the residents of Colaba,
Mahim and Andheri, stating they were against the petition and wanted the Metro Project to be completed. The matter will now be heard today (Friday). The court has also appointed advocate Zal Andhyarujina as amicus curiae (friend of court) in the matter.Meanwhile, another petition was filed in court challenging the change in land use from “no development zone” to usage for Metro car shed in Aarey.