The Mumbai high court (HC) yesterday (Thursday, 16th July 2020) allowed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to construct piers of an approach road and spur line to Mogharpada depot, Thane, on the Metro-4 corridor within the mangrove buffer zone.
The bench of justice RD Dhanuka and justice VG Bisht granted permission for work in the mangroves buffer zone primarily in view of the fact that the construction is for the larger public interest.
The bench, however, directed MMRDA to strictly comply with the conditions imposed by state environment impact assessment authority while granting coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance for the work on November 28 last year.
MMRDA moved HC, through advocate Akshay Shinde, seeking the court’s permission for the work in the mangrove buffer zone along Ghodbunder Road in Thane, as the court in November 2018 held that no mangroves shall be removed or no construction shall take place within the 50-metre buffer zone around mangroves without the prior permission of the court.
Metro Line 4 will Wadala to Kasarwadvli on Ghodbunder Road in Thane. The 32.32-km entirely elevated corridor will have 32 stations along the line that runs parallel to eastern express highway, covering Ghatkopar and Mulund.
According to MMRDA’s petition, the proposed car depot at Mogharpada forms an integral part of the project, which the authority plans to utilise for routine repairs as well as the major overhaul of coaches and repair, replacement and testing of heavy equipment.
MMRDA added that the car depot, spread over 36.50 hectares, is proposed to be constructed at 200 metres of the existing road, and 16 piers of the approach road and four piers of the spur line fall in CRZ area. None of the piers nor the spur line, however, affect mangroves, the petition added.