The Deccan Gymkhana Parisar Samiti said in a press statement Thursday that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is in danger of contempt of court if it proceeds with the construction of a road on Law College hill without undertaking a detailed Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study as directed by the Bombay High Court.
In the statement, Sushma Date of the Samiti said the Bombay High Court order dated January 15, 2016, on a PIL applies to all roads aligned along Law College tekdi as well as on any hill and urban forest in Pune. “The court has mandated a detailed EIA under the recommendations of a committee of experts before any fresh decision can be taken on constructing a road in this ecologically sensitive zone,” she said.
The High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR) is learnt to have been merged with the proposed Bal Bharati Road, so the PMC has to conduct a fresh, detailed study of the environment impact of the two roads in the area, Date said. “The rapid EIA conducted for the HCMTR does not serve the purpose as it falls short of the court order and does not include a hydro-geology study of this hill, which is one of the biggest environmental concerns as this hill contains major aquifers,” she said.
The Samiti also said the civic body had not given residents a fair chance at grievance redressal, asking why was the tender for the project floated before land was acquired despite the PMC’s policy that no tenders for a project can be floated unless at least 80 per cent of the land has already been acquired.
Date said that since 13.142 km of the 36 km of proposed HCMTR is going to be realigned, it was necessary for the PMC to hold a hearing for suggestions and objections for the realignment. “The current tenders should be scrapped and new tenders should be floated only after the state government publishes the approved modifications and 80 per cent of land finalised has been acquired,” she said.