The Bombay High Court on Monday stayed a demolition notice issued by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) to eight shops to make ventilation shafts for the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro corridor. The court will hear the matter further on April 22. A division bench of Justices A S Oka and R I Chagla said that prima facie it appears that MMRCL does not possess powers to carry out demolition work. The bench directed that no steps of demolition or eviction shall be taken.
A petition was filed by Mohammad Salim Khan and eight others, all having shops at New Agripada, opposite Western Express Highway, Santar Cruz (East), to challenge the demolition notice dated April 3 sent by MMRCL and a direction from court for relocation. The petitioners stated that they are not opposing the Metro project “as it is the betterment of the society at large” and that they are ready to vacate the structure but they should be treated as project affected persons.
The petitioners said they run local businesses like general stores, Channa seller and scrap dealership. The proposed relocation for the petitioner is at Kanjurmarg and Bhiwandi which they claim is far from the current location. “It will be a financial disaster for the petitioners who rely on these stores to earn their livelihood,” the petition said. The petitioners state that their structures are required by MMRCL only for the ventilation purpose.