Construction of Colaba-Seepz Metro-3 project doesn’t need Green Nod from MOEF: says MMRCL in its Affidavit

Metro rail body says all permissions have been obtained from authorities concerned before construction on the project can actually begin

MUMBAI: Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) on Wednesday filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court stating that the construction of Metro 3 project between Colaba to Seepz, does not need an environment clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF).

It further states, that 19 temporary and permanent sites fall under different Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and all permissions have been obtained from authorities concerned before construction on the project can begin.

The affidavit filed by Deputy General Manager, Ashok Bhasme, states that as per the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006, there is no legal requirement for obtaining a clearance. It also adds that, “Hundreds of people in Mumbai need the Metro 3 line and it will benefit many. Metro will have a positive impact and improve the overall commute.”

The affidavit was filed opposing the petition of Nina Verma, a 76-year-old resident of Churchgate, who resides on Jamshedji Tata road. In her petition, Verma stated that recently authorities were trying to cut a fully grown tree right outside her residence.

The affidavit also states that the petition was filed in personal interest and that the need for public infrastructure had caused hardships and discomfort. However, the court turned down this claim. The court stated that no person is against development. It also observed that large scale damage to the environment during construction should be kept in mind.

While defending the extent of environmental damage, the affidavit filed through Advocate Kiran Bhagalia states that, “Metro rail alignment is determined after extensive studies and in public interest. MMRCL has to reluctantly undertake removal of trees as an absolute necessity. It is committed to take all such remedial measures to restore these trees. Authorities have appointed consultants for such activity and will carry out the removal and transplantation of trees in a scientific manner.”

The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on April 24.