It said substantial questions relating to environment are involved in the over R8,000 crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link Project (MTHLP) for building 22-km bridge on public-private partnership model.
The NGT asked the Mumbai metropolitan region development authority (MMRDA) to refrain from taking any final decision for commencement of work and sought replies of the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), the state of Maharashtra, Maharashtra pollution control board and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd.
The replies were sought on a petition by Mumbai-resident Dileep B Nevatia through advocate Rahul Chaudhary, challenging the project on the ground that its execution began seven years after issuance of the environmental clearance (EC) to it and it would now have adverse effect on the environment.
The environmental clearance for construction of Mumbai trans harbour link project was granted on March 11, 2005 but no construction was carried during last seven years, the petitioner had told the panel.
The Tribunal has, however, allowed MMRDA to go ahead with tendering process for the project and agreed to hear the plea for stay on commencement of construction for MTHLP.
After hearing the counsel and going through records, we feel ends of justice and equity would be better served, if we direct MMRDA to complete the tender process but then not to take any final decision or issue the work order, if not already issued, without obtaining prior permission of this Tribunal, a bench headed by NGTs acting chairperson AS Naidu said.