The Bombay High Court today asked the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) as to how it could be permitted to carry out construction works at nights if it would not stick to noise pollution rules. “How can we pass a judicial order permitting yo to carry out work whole day and night when you are not ready to make a statement that you would adhere to noise pollution rules,” a division bench of justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla asked the MMRCL. Earlier this month, the MMRCL moved the court seeking modification of an order of the HC which prohibited it from carrying out Metro work at Cuffe Parade in south Mumbai during night for its Line III.
In its application, the MMRCL said it had to carry out tunnel boring and excavation work which, once started, cannot be stopped. “The work will go on for a period of 18 months. The excavation work, however, will not create much noise. The only noise would be from trucks transporting the excavated soil,” Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhkoni, appearing for the MMRCL, said.
The court, however, sought to know from the MMRCL if the noise created would be within the prescribed limits. Kumbhkoni said the MMRCL cannot make such a statement. To this, Justice Oka said, “Then how can the court pass a judicial order allowing you to carry out the work knowing fully well that you are going to breach the norms?”
Justice Chagla queried as to why the MMRCL was not using sound barriers in the area. “There are many measures that the MMRCL can undertake to ensure that people are not inconvenienced due to the sound. In places like London and other cities in the world such measures are taken,” he said. The court posted the matter for further hearing on June 29.
The high court had in December last year restricted the MMRCL from carrying out construction work at night as it was creating noise pollution inconveniencing people in the area. The 33-kilometre Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metroline III project will connect the Cuffe Parade business district in South Mumbai to SEEPZ in the city’s North-Central suburb.