In a relief to nearly 30,000 residents of Matheran and neighbouring villages, the Bombay High Court took on record the decision of an interim monitoring committee set up by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to allow a goods tempo to transport essential goods to reach core-sensitive area of the hill station.
A single-judge bench of Justice S J Kathawalla Saturday also directed that vehicle should ply three times a week while following pollution norms.
On Thursday, the bench had asked the committee to take a decision in the matter on urgent basis while hearing a plea filed by former MLA Suresh Narayan Lad seeking relaxation on vehicular restrictions in Matheran town so that essential goods can be provided to the residents during the lockdown.
The monitoring committee Friday had unanimously resolved to request the railway authorities to operationalise Dasturi Naka-Matheran train by attaching additional goods bogies to supply essentials and sent a proposal to the divisional railway manager, Central Railway in the matter.
Meanwhile, the panel asked the local civic body to hire a goods tempo with Bharat VI-engine, with due compliances from Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, to carry essential supplies every Wednesday until the commencement of goods transport by the railways.
On Saturday, the petitioner, however, submitted that considering the number of people dependent on the supplies, the vehicle should be allowed to ply at least thrice a week. The court accepted the suggestion and, with the consent of parties, modified panel’s decision and directed it to be implemented thrice a week. It disposed of the plea and granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the panel to raise further demands.
Matheran is an eco-sensitive zone and no vehicular movement beyond Dasturi Point, except for ambulances and vehicles of the fire brigade and solid waste management since 2003.
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