MMRCL Denied Groundwater Access at Aarey Site

The Central Groundwater Resources Authority has rejected Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) application for use of groundwater at Aarey Metro car shed site. This was informed by MMRCL official Charuhas Jadhav last week at the second appellate hearing by State Information Commissioner Sumit Mullick.

NGO Vanashakti had sought information on MMRCL’s need for 50,000 litres a day at the car shed site but the information was refused and the NGO went into appeal. An MMRCL spokesperson declined to say why its application was rejected by the central authority. MPCB allowed MMRCL to use groundwater provided permission is taken from the central body.

When his government came to power, CM Uddhav Thackeray stayed the shed work and set up a panel to find an option to Aarey. But the panel recommended Aarey was the only suitable site. While there is a stay on any work at the site and a ban on tree-cutting, activist Amrita Bhattacharjee said last week, MMRCL officials went near the car shed site ostensibly to unblock a natural stream. Local adivasis, protested as the digging was being done on their land, forcing MMRCL officials to retreat.

An MMRCL spokesperson said there was some water accumulation at the site and a mini JCB was used to create a kachcha drain to divert flow of water into open land. “Even monsoon work is being objected to,” he said.

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