The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority’s (MMRDA’s) lawyer, Kiran Bagalia, on May 2, 2018, told the Bombay High Court that the digging work in suburban Andheri for the Metro 2B Line, was only for soil testing purposes. “No other work will be carried out, till the petition is heard on the next date,” she informed a division bench of justices AS Oka and Riyaz Chagla.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by the Juhu Vile Parle Development Cooperative Housing Society, the Gulmohar Area Society Welfare Group and the Balabhai Nanavati Hospital in the city, opposing the proposed alignment of the metro 2 B line. The petition claimed that the MMRDA had started digging work, without taking requisite permissions from the concerned authorities.
Bagalia told the high court that under the MMRDA Act, it does not require permission from any authority, to carry out soil testing. The bench posting the petition for hearing on June 12, 2018. It said that if the court comes to the conclusion that the work carried out was unauthorised and illegal, then, it would order a stay. “The MMRDA shall file an affidavit by the next date, by which it will have to show under what authority it was carrying out the digging work,” the HC said.
The bench added that such work should be carried out in coordination with other authorities, so as to avoid obstruction to public. “Roads do not belong to the MMRDA. Are you (MMRDA) not supposed to coordinate with other agencies, before you start digging?” justice Oka asked. The Metro 2B line will connect the western and eastern suburbs of the city.