Carry out Aarey Colony Car Shed construction at own risk: High Court tells MMRCL

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today said the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) could continue with its construction work of a car shed in Aarey Colony, but it would be at its “own risk” as the matter was pending before the court.

A division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and P D Naik was hearing a petition filed by two city residents, opposing the construction of the car shed in Aarey Colony in western Mumbai, claiming that it was an ecologically sensitive forest area and hence, no construction could be carried out there.

The bench heard the arguments of the petitioners’ counsel, Janak Dwarakadas, today and posted the petition for further hearing on June 12.

It, however, observed that the MMRCL could carry on with the construction work, but it would be subject to the final decision of the court.

“…do it (construction work) at your own risk,” Justice Dharmadhikari told the MMRCL.

The petitioners have alleged that the Maharashtra government has illegally modified the draft Development Plan (DP) 2034 for Mumbai to show what was previously a green, no-development zone in Aarey Colony as a plot reserved for the construction of the car shed for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz metro line.

The 33.5-km-long metro line will connect south Mumbai to the western suburbs.

The petitioners have claimed that while the government had issued a circular, earmarking the land for the car shed, until earlier this year, the draft DP 2034 had continued to show the said plot as a no-development zone.

The state had recently issued a notification to amend the draft DP to change the use of the plot.

The MMRCL had, however, told the court in an affidavit filed earlier that the apprehensions of the residents and activists that the state was allowing the construction in Aarey Colony in contravention of green norms were unfounded.

It had also submitted that the 25-hectare plot was never recognised by the government as a protected forest area or an eco-sensitive zone.