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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Bombay HC allows Pune Metro to demolish slums after Aug 30 to continue work on station

Maha-Metro to rehabilitate eligible slum-dwellers

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: August 10, 2021 6:12:49 pm
Maha Metro said it wants to emphasise the convenience of having cycles onboard the trains for students, office staff, delivery boys, courier boys and for that matter, anybody who is doing a field job. (File)

In a major relief to Pune Metro, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday said the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (Maha-Metro), the agency implementing the Metro project, was free to demolish structures at the site of a proposed station, in adherence to due process of law, after August 30.

Maha-Metro had earlier filed an injunction in High Court, seeking a nod to demolish slum structures at Kamgar Putala Vasahat, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar and Juna Tofkhana in Shivajinagar to continue the construction work of the Metro station. The agency is also going to rehabilitate eligible slum-dwellers.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhkoni informed the court that the construction of the station was on hold due to an HC order staying all eviction and demolition work since the beginning of the pandemic. Kumbhkoni said that Maha-Metro had conducted a survey and determined which slum-dwellers were eligible for rehabilitation. “We will relocate the eligible slum-dwellers and have entered into an agreement with them. However, we can’t go ahead with the construction due to the stay order,” he said on behalf of Maha-Metro.

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The high court said Maha-Metro is allowed to evict slum-dwellers and demolish structures for the project after August 30. “Beyond August 30, you (Maha-Metro) will be free to follow due process of law,” the court said, adding that ineligible slum dwellers who face eviction are free to explore remedies in law.

The agency is constructing an intersecting station at the site for two routes — Pimpri to Swargate and Vanaz to Ramwadi. There will be an underground station for the Pimpri to Swargate route and an elevated station for Vanaz to Ramwadi route. These stations will be connected to the proposed Metro station for Shivajinagar to Hinjewadi route in the vicinity. Maha-Metro is also planning to construct its main office Metro Bhavan on an upper floor of the station premises.

Recently, the Pune Municipal Corporation, along with the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and Maha-Metro, signed agreements to rehabilitate eligible project-affected slum-dwellers in newly-developed SRA structures in the city.

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