A RESIDENT of Cuffe Parade has moved a contempt petition against top officials of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) and officials of contractor Larsen & Toubro (L&T), seeking civil prison for a maximum period of six months for allegedly disobeying an HC order while constructing Metro III Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor. The petitioner, lawyer Robin Jaisinghani, has named Ashwini Bhide, director of MMRCL, Ashok Bhasme, deputy general manager (civil), MMRCL, and several officers of L&T, in his petition.
On August 24, 2018, the Bombay High Court permitted MMRCL and L&T to carry out construction and ancillary activities during the night at the Cuffe Parade site. The court further directed MMRCL to set up a grievance redress mechanism within one week. In his petition, Jaisinghani stated that the grievance redress mechanism set up by MMRCL is not in accordance with the order and the assurances and commitment made by the Advocate General (AG).
He further stated that the court had directed to set up a grievance redress mechanism to ensure that noise levels were maintained within the standards prescribed in the noise pollution control rules. If noise levels were exceeding the standards or on receiving complaints from residents against the noise levels, action will be taken immediately to bring the noise levels within the standard prescribed.
Stating that MMRCL had disobeyed court orders, Jaisinghani in his petition stated that the grievance redress mechanism had not been set up by MMRCL. The contractor, L&T, that is carrying out the construction activities, had purported to create a grievance redress mechanism. He further stated that although the order and assurances by the AG was that an officer of MMRCL was to be on 24-hour duty to receive complaints and take immediate action, L&T did not provide any officer of MMRCL to be available. Jaisinghani further added that his complaints while having been received by L&T, did not prompt any action by the contractor.
The petitioner further stated that according to the court order, MMRCL was directed to keep the noise levels within standards prescribed and act immediately to reduce the noise levels if exceeded, but L&T had stated that no action will be taken unless the noise levels in the hour immediately preceding the complaint exceeded 83.6 decibel. Jaisinghani, in his petition, also stated that the grievance redress mechanism was “sham and illusory”, as in a manner it was set up was “extremely absurd”, where a complaint was being made to the person who was “violating” the rules.
When The Indian Express contacted Rajesh Konduparti, public relations officer for MMRCL, for a response to the contempt petition against top officials, he sent a text stating:, “MMRCL doesn’t want to respond”.