A group of prominent personalities from the city have filed an environmental interest litigation (EIL) in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the proposed Pune Metro Rail project, strongly objecting to the alignment of some portion of its route through river beds.
Member of Parliament Anu Aga, senior journalist Dr Dileep Padgaonkar, architect Sarang Yadwadkar and Aarti Kirloskar have filed the litigation through advocate Aseem Sarode in NGT court on May 22, which says construction below the blue line (river bed) would be in complete violation of the NGT directives.
Addressing a press conference here today, the applicants said, “We are not against the Metro project and development per se. But through this EIL, we are challenging the alignment of the Metro route, which is planned through the Mula-Mutha river beds. Any such construction below the blue line (in prohibitive zone) is completely in violation of the NGT directives as well as the government circular.”
In addition to some portion of the actual Metro rail route that runs through the river beds for around five kms, three metro stations have also been proposed to be constructed in the river bed from Vanaz to Ramwadi, they informed.
A number of RCC pillars are planned to be constructed along the rivers for the route as well as the stations, the members said, adding that constructions in the riverbed is like an open invitation to natural calamities.
Dr Padgaonkar said that nowhere in the world, Metro projects are being constructed in the river bed.
“In one of the past cases in Pune, the principal bench of the NGT had issued directives and stated that no encroachment would be allowed and no construction would be permitted inside the blue line of the river Mutha and there shall be no restriction to the free flow of the river water,” he said.
The members alleged that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and other authorities were turning a blind eye towards the directives that are already in force.
Advocate Sarode said the NGT’s West Zone Bench has issued notices to PMC, the Divisional Commissioner, Town Planning, state Urban Development Department, Central Ministry of Urban Development, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and various other stakeholders, directing them to remain present and file their replies before the NGT on July 7, 2016.
The process of a getting the final approval for the Pune Metro project from the Centre is in final stages. A few days back Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had also informed in Pune that the project would soon get a nod from the Union Government.