As the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has begun work on constructing the car depot for Metro 3 in the Aarey Milk Colony, activists from the Aarey Conservation Group (ACG), along with Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, plan to file a complaint with the local police on Wednesday. “We have enough evidence to show that the depot work in Aarey is being conducted illegally. We will now approach the Aarey police station to file a complaint against them,” said Stalin Dayanand, director, Vanashakti.
The NGO has been fighting a case in the National Green Tribunal (NGT), seeking to declare the entire Aarey Milk Colony as an eco-sensitive zone and prevent any construction activity in the area. According to the activists, the Metro-implementing body has not received permission from any of the government agencies to begin their work.
“They have not received permissions from the Tree Authority to cut trees and are now filling the land. If they do not receive permissions, will they clear the debris? While they fall under the red category of polluting industries, they do not have permissions from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) or even permissions from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for constructing a depot,” alleged Stalin.
He added that their work was in contravention of the NGT court order as they had declared in court that they had not started their work. “On their word, we did not push for an early hearing. We wanted the final hearing, but they sought time for responding in court and now they have begun work,” said Stalin.
Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson from MMRC said, “The contractors are implementing Metro construction works under Metro Act for which MMRC are the Metro Rail Authority and competent to undertake necessary construction activity.
However, as an abundant precaution, the contractors have also obtained various permissions such as that of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board for operation and establishment of RMC plant, permission of fire department of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and permission for borewell construction from MCGM.”