Mumbai: Did no wrong, says MMRC in letter to student activist

Updated: Oct 12, 2019, 08:16 IST | A correspondent

Fourth-year law student, Rishav Ranjan, had asked the MMRC to maintain status quo until the SC verdict arrived

MMRC argues that the identity of the car shed site is disputed
MMRC argues that the identity of the car shed site is disputed

As the debate between green activists and those supporting the cutting of trees at the metro car shed site rages, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) in its reply to a letter by fourth-year law student Rishav Ranjan, has denied wrongdoing on its part. Ranjan, in the letter on October 8 had requested the MMRC to stop all construction activities in Aarey until the Supreme Court delivers its verdict.

"If something is disputed, both parties should maintain the status quo. What if tomorrow the SC declares Aarey Colony as an eco-sensitive zone or forest and bars further construction? And orders that the car shed be shifted? The MMRC should respect the fact that the matter is still under litigation," Ranjan said. MMRC, in its reply on October 10, said, "...We deny in entirety the allegations levelled ... We have the highest regard for the Hon'ble Apex Court, and we respect and are abiding by the order ... passed on 7.10.2019, which is unambiguous and self-explanatory."

"It is pointed out from the record of S.L.P.(C) No.31178 of 2018, as seen from the Management Plan for Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali, Mumbai, some of the areas of the Aarey Milk Colony were transferred to revenue lands from the un-classed forests. However, the identity of the area is to be established by the petitioners, though, it was orally stated that the area in question fell in the un-classed forest. Be that as it may," MMRC said.

The MMRC letter further stated, "Shri Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General appearing for the State of Maharashtra has stated that they are not going to cut any further trees till the next date of hearing. In the circumstances, the statement is quite fair." Ranjan said that the reply shows MMRC's dubious concerns for the environment.

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