Mumbai: Metro work in Aarey Colony continues despite Delhi tribunal's stop order

May 16, 2018, 07:41 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Metro authorities continue to excavate inside Aarey Colony a day after the Delhi tribunal issued a stop work order

A nature lover took this picture of an earth mover at the Metro site in Aarey Colony
A nature lover took this picture of an earth mover at the Metro site in Aarey Colony

The Metro authorities continue to work on the Metro III car depot site in Aarey Colony, now violating the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi as well. This is just a day after the Delhi tribunal held up its Pune bench's status quo order for Aarey. The NGT in Delhi ordered that no dumping, levelling or cutting of trees is to take place there till July 11.

However, mid-day has accessed exclusive pictures clicked by a nature lover who spotted excavation work still in progress at the Metro site in Aarey on Tuesday.

'Ignoring the order'
The source said, "I was happy about the fact that the New Delhi bench of NGT also passed an order saying that status quo should be maintained, which means that no construction-related activity should be carried out in Aarey Milk Colony. However, what shocked me was that the excavation work was still in progress at the car depot site on Tuesday. Either the authorities are turning a blind eye to the order, or they think they are above the law."

The nature lover clicked the pictures from outside the Metro site's boundary. The pictures show an earth mover excavating mud at the site. The mud was then filled in a dumper standing there.

On May 11, mid-day had reported allegations that the muck removed from the car depot site during land levelling was being dumped at the base of trees, which will negatively impact the green cover and may even kill it completely.

Activists furious
"The NGT bench in New Delhi has upheld the status quo order, and it cannot be breached. The court has ordered no dumping, levelling or cutting of trees till July 11. Some relief for us finally," said an activist who was present for the hearing on Monday.

Activist Stalin D from NGO Vanashakti, said, "Every act of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) inside Aarey was without permission. All permissions were sought after work was completed. For example, the application for consent to establish a polluting industry in an NDZ (no development zone), ESZ (eco-sensitive zone) was made on April 5, after the land had been flattened and the trees buried. The tree authority has not given permission till date, and that has been the case for the past three years. This government has thrown all caution to the winds and mocked the law at every step."

Also Read: Mumbai Metro Vs Aarey: MMRC Dumping Debris Around Aarey Trees? 

The other side
"All activities at the car depot are being carried out in compliance with the NGT order. MMRC will examine the NGT order and shall take necessary steps after studying it," said a spokesperson from MMRC.

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