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Citizens rush to police after Metro work begins at Aarey

Thursday, October 12, 2017
By Sonali Telang

After the incidents of the metro work being carried out at the Aarey Milk Colony surfaced, several citizens and activists gathered at the Aarey Colony Police Station, yesterday, to register a complaint for the violation of the NGT(National Green Tribunal} order. A double decker car shed for the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ line also referred as Metro Line III has been proposed in the 33 hectares plot of Aarey Milk Colony.

A petition by NGO Vanashakti praying to maintain the economic sensitive zone (ESZ) in the entire Aarey Colony and ensure the status quo of the No Development Zone on the same is presently being heard in the National Green Tribunal, Pune. Citizens have asserted that since the matter is being heard in the Tribunal which has also ordered an interim ban on any kind of construction, levelling and alteration work in the entire ESZ area, the Mumbai Metro Rail Body is thereby violating the Tribunal's order.

"Several Mumbaikars gathered at the Aarey Police Station, not to protest or hold any demonstration, but to lodge complaints against the contempt of law. We were stopped from entering the police station by the police officers, when we told them that the MMRC has failed to obtain required permissions from various authorities, they said that they are not able to interpret the NGT's order and cannot stop government work," said Biju Augustine , Member of Aarey Conservation Group.

The required permissions mentioned the aforesaid deals with permission from the Maharashtra Pollution Control, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Mumbai Sub urban District Collector Office. In the view of ongoing levelling work at Aarey, Vanashakti has also written to the State Chief Secretary. "In the ongoing proceedings in the National Green Tribunal, the court adjourned the matter to November 10, 2017, for the final hearing based on the assurance given by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited that no work was being done on the ground. In addition to all the facts above, please note that till date, no permissions to establish a casting yard and metro car shed have been obtained from the MPCB. No permissions have been given by the Building Proposals Department of MCGM for the above activities," the letter read.

"The cops have noted down all the issues raised by us. They will send a report to the legal department. And we have informed them that if no action is taken within two days, we will protest at the site," said Stalin Dayanand, Project Director, Vanashakti.

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