May 31, 2021 1:50:54 am
The Bombay High Court on Friday allowed the BMC to commence work for laying an underground storm water disposal (SWD) pipeline through the premises of Tata Mills in Parel, which belongs to National Textile Corporation Limited (NTCL), as a part of Hindmata flood mitigation project to avoid waterlogging in the area during monsoon.
The High Court passed the order after the BMC assured the court that it would compensate Tata Mills (NTCL) and enter into an agreement with it, as per terms and conditions laid down by the central government, while giving permission for the work to be carried out.
Hindmata is one of the worst-affected areas every monsoon as it starts flooding much earlier compared to other places due to the saucer shape of the locality. Sometimes, water level in some areas goes up to 4 to 5 feet.
According to the BMC, while it was awaiting the HC nod for the pipeline, it has already begun the work for installing pumps along with water collection tanks and laying storm water drains to channel rainwater to these tanks. From the collection area, water will be pushed to both storage tanks through a newly laid pipeline network with the help of pumps. Once high tide is over, the stored water will be pumped again to the pipeline and discharged into the sea via drains.
A vacation bench of Justice R D Dhanuka and Justice Madhav J Jamdar on May 28 passed an order on a plea by Tata Mills, argued through senior advocate Ram Apte, seeking to restrain the BMC and Disaster Management Authority from entering the mill premises with an “intention to start proposed work” unless final approval is received from NTCL head office in Delhi.
The petitioner informed that the BMC, on March 9, had requested Tata Mills for permission to lay pipeline with 1,600 mm diameter, 3 m width, 325 m length (including working space) through mill premises to “tackle flooding at Hindmata area”.
The plea said Tata Mills had taken due follow-up of the BMC’s request and, while the approval from NTCL top officials was awaited, local politicians from the Shiv Sena were putting pressure on the petitioner and forcefully entered the property and brought in machinery, hence the petition in HC. The HC also heard the BMC’s plea seeking directions to the central government to grant permission to lay the pipeline through Tata Mills.
Additional solicitor general Anil C Singh submitted that the central government considered a proposal by the BMC dated May 12 pertaining to laying down the pipeline in the petitioner’s premises and had accepted the same on May 26.
The BMC said NTCL, on May 26, had informed that its competent authority had given permission on certain terms and conditions. Senior Counsel N V Walawalkar for the civic body stated that its authorised officers will be entering into an agreement, as per permission granted by the central government, and the same would be entered into between parties.
The bench noted, “In view of the undertaking rendered by the BMC, it would be permitted to commence the work on the plot of the petitioner in accordance with the agreement being executed on Friday. We expect that after taking possession of the plot, the municipal corporation will start the work immediately…”