High Court wants details of grade separator work
The Bombay High Court has demanded detailed information from Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) about the grade separator project before the end of the month. Work recently started after permission from National Monuments Authority (NMA).
After the authority’s consent, city-based NGO Parisar filed a PIL against PMC for the stoppage of work. It has submitted a copy of the work order and other documents related to the project. In the PIL it has stated that though the grade separator is underground, it should be consider a construction.
The project is located near Pataleshwar cave, which is a heritage site. According to NMA norms areas within a 100-metre radius of a heritage or ancient structure is prohibited for construction. So, while the authority had ordered the stoppage of work, but PMC officials succeeded in getting permission after providing data to NMA.
City engineer of PMC Vivek Kharwadkar pointed out that the law barring development in a 100-metre radius was introduced in 2010. “Our project work commenced in 2009, so this rule cannot be applicable here. Another important point is that the grade separator will be underground, so it cannot be considered a construction. NMA was convinced by our explanation and gave us authorisation,” said Kharwadkar.
“The laws clearly state that apart from electrical and other repairs, no development is permitted. PMC has misinterpreted the law. It is a Rs-28 cr project, which should be considered as construction. It does not matter whether it is underground or on the surface. Final decision of High Court is expected
next month,” said Ranjeet Gadgil, programme director of Parisar.