The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) permission to carry out construction for Metro Line 4 in a mangrove buffer zone, holding that it was in larger public interest.
A bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I Chagla said the Metro project was of “immense public importance”, and permitted the MMRDA to construct a Metro station at Bhakti Park in Wadala, 48 piers around Sewri and a temporary approach road in the area.
The court also took into account the fact that the MMRDA would carry out compensatory reforestation and that the agency had already secured all necessary permissions.
“We are convinced beyond any doubt that the project of construction of Metro Line 4 as set out hereinabove, is a project of immense public importance from the point of view of the public transport,” the bench said.
The MMRDA had moved the High Court seeking its permission for the work since in November 2018, the court had held that no mangroves should be removed and no construction should take place within the 50-metre buffer zone around mangroves, without its prior permission.
As per the court’s judgement, Metro Line 4 is proposed to be 32.32 km long, with 32 elevated stations.
The MMRDA submitted that for the work in Wadala, it will have to remove 357 mangroves and to compensate for the same, it would plant 4,444 mangroves at an alternate site.
The development authority also told the court that it had already secured permissions from coastal zone authorities, Ministry of Environment and other state and union authorities.
The agency also told the court that currently over 12 million people travelled each day by the suburban rail network in Mumbai and the city’s public buses.
Since Metro Line 1 and the monorail network in the city were already overburdened, the proposed Metro networks would be of much help to citizens.
“The project is a public utility project, in the public interest, which will also improve and provide for better transport facility, reduce air pollution and provide the safest mode of transportation to society,” the court said.
“All the requisite permissions for the execution of the said project are already granted by various statutory authorities, and the MMRDA has complied with most of the conditions imposed by these permissions and it has undertaken to comply with the rest of the conditions,” the bench said, while granting permission to carry out the construction.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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