Mumbai metro dept to law student: SC stay order only pertains to tree felling in Aarey

An activist holds a placard during a protest against cutting down of trees for a proposed metro car shed project at Aarey Colony in Mumbai. (AP)

THE MUMBAI Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) has refused to stop construction activities for the Metro car shed at Aarey Milk Colony in Goregaon East.

Replying to law student Rishav Ranjan, who had asked the MMRCL to stop all construction work related to the Metro car shed project in backdrop of the Supreme Court order staying felling of trees at Aarey Colony, the corporation has said that the order is “unambiguous” and self-explanatory and is only pertaining to felling of trees in Aarey.

Referring to the court order, the MMRCL, in its letter dated October 10, has said that the Solicitor General and others had orally submitted before the Supreme Court that clearing and construction work needed to be continued and that the status quo should be restricted to the felling of trees.

The MMRCL called Ranjan’s letter a misinterpretation of the Supreme Court order and suggested that he should withdraw it. On October 8, Noida-based law student Rishav Ranjan had written to the MMRCL, demanding that all construction activities in connection to the Metro car shed project be stopped following the SC order of October 7, which had stayed any further felling of trees at Aarey Colony.

Ranjan said: “It is very basic that if something is in dispute, both parties should maintain status quo until the judgment is delivered. What if tomorrow the Supreme Court declares that Aarey Colony is an eco-sensitive zone or a forest and no construction work should be undertaken... and issues an order to shift the Metro car shed to an alternative sites? What will MMRCL do then?”

“MMRCL should respect that matter is still in litigation and for efficient hearing, it should restrain from undertaking any activities... Its reply exactly shows its dubious concern for environment and residents,” he added.