The Supreme Court has stayed the interim stay order passed by the National Green Tribunal’s western zone bench against construction of a 1.7-km stretch along the river bed of Mutha. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the interim stay order pleading that NGT had no jurisdiction in this matter.
The NGT’s western zone bench had stayed a part of the R11,420 crore Pune Metro Project passing through the Mutha river bed after a group of citizens had filed an environmental interest litigation highlighting the potential destruction of the riverbank ecosystem. The Tribunal had on January 2 directed PMC not to construct in the prohibited zone of 1.7 km on the left bank of the river that is inside the Blue Line of the river bed of Mula Mutha. This stretch is part of the 15-km Phase I, Line 2 of Pune Metro from Vanaz to Ramwadi.
Representing the PMC in the case, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the NGT did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter and the interim stay order passed by the NGT was liable to be set aside. The AG also brought to the notice of the court, it has already admitted for hearing a similar matter relating to the Noida Metro Project, wherein, the court had stayed the order of the NGT. On the basis of these submissions, the SC stayed the impugned order.
Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta along with advocates Mehul M Gupta and Pralhad Paranjape also represented the PMC. The Pune Metro rail project is being implemented by Maharashtra Metro.
In a related development the board and shareholders of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL) approved reconstitution of NMRCL into Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MAHA-METRO). The government of India and the government of Maharashtra nominated their five nominee directors on the board. The first board meeting of MAHA- METRO will be held as soon as reconstitution process is approved from the ministry of corporate affairs.