Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday asked the state if it was willing to deposit the compensation account for over 100 acres of land in Kanjurmarg which it wants for the Metro III project. Hearing an application filed by the state to lift a two decade old status quo order on the land, a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anil Menon has asked the state to come back with it response on September 4, 2015.
The government has moved the HC seeking that a two-decade old stay on 135.70 acres of land in Kanjurmarg be lifted for its Metro 3 project. The state was represented by assistant government pleader G W Mattos, who pointed out that the Metro III was a “public project of national importance and urgency”. While around 101 acres would be used for the carshed, the remaining 34 acres would be used to set up a temporary pre-casting yard.
The HC asked the state if it would deposit the compensation amount for the 101 acres in court during the pendency of the litigation. The state has claimed that even if the outcome of the litigation goes in favour of the persons claiming the land, they can be compensated at that stage
The Mumbai Metro 3 project connecting Colaba-Bandra-Seepz is proposed to be operational by 2021 at a total cost Rs 23,136 crores. The project is part funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency to the extent of 50 per cent. It proposes to have eight cars with a capacity of 2,500 passengers on the route, carrying around 14 lakh passengers every day. It is supposed to reduce 3.73 lakh vehicles every day on the route.
The Colaba to Seepz route will be underground, with the line to the carshed being over ground. The government had initially planned to construct the carshed at Aarey, but met with stiff opposition from environmentalists and local residents as the area falls in an eco sensitive zone. A government committee then searched for an alternative and narrowed down to the Kanjurmarg land for building the the car shed and for allied activities like the pre casting yard.
The Kanjurmarg land has been under a legal dispute since 1953. The claimants had launched a second round of litigation in 1996. In 1997, the HC had restrained the state government from allotting land to the tune of around 400 acres in Kanjurmarg any person, following a legal dispute over it that dates back to 1953.