The central government and the Maharashtra state government are locked in a tussle over the land ownership earmarked by the state for building the metro car shed which was planned at Aarey Colony earlier.
Recently, the present MVA government took the decision to shift the metro car shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg.
On Wednesday, the Bombay high court stayed an order passed by Mumbai suburban district collector allotting salt pan land of 102 acres in Kanjurmarg area of the financial capital for an integrated Metro car shed’s construction. Besides, the authorities have been restrained from carrying out any construction work at the said land by a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni. The central government and the Maharashtra state government are locked in a tussle over the land ownership earmarked by the state for building the metro car shed which was planned at Aarey Colony earlier, which is a green belt in suburban Goregaon, according to a PTI report.
A petition has been filed by the Union government in the high court challenging the order passed by the collector on 1 October 2020, allotting the land for car shed’s construction, and said the land belongs to the central government’s salt department. The court said it cannot allow the collector’s order to continue. It further stated that the court is admitting the petition as well as granting relief as sought by the petitioner in prayer clauses ‘h’ and ‘I’.
The Centre had sought the court to stay operation of the collectors order, transferring possession of land of 102 acres to MMRDA, as per prayer clause ‘h’. The Centre had sought an order from the court, in the prayer clause ‘I’, restraining the authority from carrying out any construction work on the said land. On Monday, the High Court suggested the Maharashtra government to consider withdrawing the order passed by the collector.
The state was ready for order withdrawal and to give a fresh hearing to the Union government, but the work of construction would continue at the land, advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the High Court on Wednesday. He further told the court that at present, soil testing work was on at the site. However, the high court noted that when it was of the prima facie view that the order of the collector transferring possession cannot continue, then how can it permit the work of construction to go on at the said land.
On Wednesday, the court granted stay as well as admitted the petition for final hearing in the month of February. The plea has been opposed by the MVA government and it said the land that has been allotted for the Metro car shed to the MMRDA is owned by the Maharashtra state government. In its plea, the Centre claimed the entire salt pan land, including the 102 acres allotted to the MMRDA, belongs to the salt department of the central government.
Recently, the present MVA government took the decision to shift the metro car shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg. Instead of building separate car sheds for different metro lines, the state government decided to establish an integrated car shed for metro lines 3, 4, 4A, 6.