The Bombay High Court Thursday sought a response from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on whether it had allowed the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to construct nine stations under the Metro 3 project.
According to the court’s directions in the last hearing, the petition was amended to include the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority and the MoEF as respondents. The court has extended the date of next hearing to March 30 to allow them to file their responses.
Ordering a stay on the felling of trees on February 9, the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni had directed the MMRC to not cut a single tree for the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro until further orders. The stay will continue until the next hearing. The MMRC claims the stay has disrupted the construction work and is leading to a loss of Rs 4 crore per day.
Taking note of this, the bench said, “MMRC is incurring losses, but the ecological loss cannot be ignored either.” For the construction of the 33.5-km underground Metro, the MMRC plans to cut 1,074 trees and plant 1,727.