Gujarat high court junks plea of shopkeepers affected by metro rail work

The Gujarat high court has rejected a petition filed by shop owners from Shahpur, who sought directions to authorities to heed to their demand for compensation, rehabilitation and provision of alternative workplace, because their business has been affected due to the ongoing construction work for the metro rail project.

The petitioners, who also included a petrol pump owner, approached the HC complaining that their business have suffered for last couple of years because of the excavation being carried out for the metro rail track. They have requested the government authorities for compensation and alternative arrangements to carry out their businesses, but to no avail.

After hearing the case, Justice Ashutosh Shastri did not agree with the demand and said, “This Court is of the opinion that whenever there is a work of such a magnitude is undertaken by the respondent authorities, of overall public interest, some inconvenience might cause, but that would not allow few handful persons to make an attempt to thwart the process.

The court further observed, “…private interest to be merged in public interest and public interest always to be given precedence.”

The court noted that from the pleadings, it appears that to some extent the petitioners are also not readily accepting this work to be undertaken in smooth manner and under one pretext or the other trying to create a situation to hamper the work.

The court also noted that the authorities take every step to see that minimum hardship is caused to residents of the area including the petitioners and it is not in dispute that on account of this project the business of the petitioners have not been shut down.

It further said that some inconvenience has been caused to the petitioners, “but that would not allow the petitioners to over pitch their case to such a extent that their fundamental rights are infringed”.

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