Clarify stand on approval to Metro III project: Bombay HC to MoEF

Apr 24, 2017, 18:59 IST | PTI

Upset by the Union environment ministry's failure to clarify its stand on approving a part of the Mumbai metro project, the Bombay High Court on Monday summoned the Centre's law officer to clarify the ministry's stand

Clarify stand on approval to Metro III project: HC to MoEF
Representational project

Upset by the Union environment ministry's failure to clarify its stand on approving a part of the Mumbai metro project, the Bombay High Court on Monday summoned the Centre's law officer to clarify the ministry's stand. A bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kukarni sought appearance of the additional solicitor general before it on May 3 and clarify the stand of Union Ministry of Environment and Forest on granting approval to build some stations and underground tracks for the Mumbai metro project.

"What do we do if the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest is not bothered and not serious about the environment? We direct the additional solicitor general to appear before us on May 3 for the ministry and clarify its stand," said Chief Justice Chellur. The bench expressed displeasure while hearing a plea by the Churchgate and Cuffe Parade residents, challenging the proposed cutting of over 5,000 trees for executing the Seepz-
Colaba Metro Line III project of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL).

The high court had earlier asked the MMRCL not to cut any tree till further orders. The bench was informed by the petitioners' counsel Janak
Dwarkadas that the Maharashtra State Environment Impact Assessment Authority had given the permission to carry out the construction work.
"However, for such big projects, permission is required from the Ministry of Environment and Forest itself and not from the state authority," he said.

On the previous occasions too, the court had asked the MoEF to clarify which authority had the right to grant the clearance. The Union ministry, however, is yet to make any submission on the issue. Line III of the Mumbai Metro, also referred to as the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ line, is a part of the metro system which will connect Cuffe Parade business district in South Mumbai to SEEPZ in the north-central.

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