MMRCL’s petition challenging NGT’s jurisdiction rejected

Pune: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Pune recently rejected a plea by the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) challenging its jurisdiction to decide whether it could construct around the prohibited area near riverbed.

The original application was filed by late Dilip Padgaonkar, journalist and three others to restrain MMRCL from proposing, planning, approving or constructing any roads, metros or structures on the area lying within blue line (prohibited zone falling within flood line) running along the Mula-Mutha riverbed.

Advocate Prahlad Paranjape representing MMRCL appeared before a division bench of Justice U.D. Salvi and Justice Ranjan Chatterjee, and questioned the jurisdiction of NGT under the Metro Railways (Construction of Works Act). He said that Section 18 of the Act empowers the Metro to make or construct in, upon, across, under or over any rivers, canals, brooks, streams or other waterways and within the limit or change course of waterways, and the central government has granted approval to the Metro project.

The Tribunal mentioned that the order by the Principal Bench of the NGT at New Delhi had in clear and unequivocal terms directed that “no encroachment and no construction shall be permitted on (the land falling) in such blue line of (delineating the river bed) of River Mutha and there shall be no restrictions to free flow of the river water in order to avoid environmental damage and to maintain floodplains properly in the interest of ecology services or benefits provided by the floodplains”.

As carried in TH

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