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Mumbai Metro 3: Apprehending Damage To Heritage Structures, Bombay HC Stays Tunnelling Work For Two Weeks

nitish kashyap
15 Sep 2017 11:28 AM GMT

The Bombay High Court has granted an interim stay on the tunnelling work for Metro 3 being carried out near the 161-year-old heritage structure known as JN Petit Institute Library in the Fort area of South Mumbai.A bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice NM Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by trustees of JN Petit Institute which named the State of Maharashtra, Mumbai Metro...

The Bombay High Court has granted an interim stay on the tunnelling work for Metro 3 being carried out near the 161-year-old heritage structure known as JN Petit Institute Library in the Fort area of South Mumbai.

A bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice NM Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by trustees of JN Petit Institute which named the State of Maharashtra, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) and MMRDA as respondents.

In the petition, it is stated that due to the constant vibration caused as a result of the ongoing tunnelling work at the proposed Hutatma Chowk Metro Station, a portion of the ceiling of the library building fell out.

Advocate for the petitioner trustees, Fredun De’Vitre submitted that the vibrations caused due to the drilling activity exceeds the permissible level for heritage buildings by four times (permissible level is 5 mm/sec).

The library was established in 1856 and is one the oldest libraries in Mumbai. It is very close to the high court building itself.

During the course of the hearing, CJ Chellur stated that currently a team of experts from IIT Mumbai was surveying the probable damage to the 155-year-old high court building.

Although, CJ Chellur refused to stop the entire metro work altogether, she did agree to the request of the petitioner for appointment of an independent structural engineering expert to conduct a survey of the area.

The court has now directed the constitution of a committee to ascertain the probable damage being caused due to the tunnelling work and suggest ways to ensure that the work can be carried out without damaging the heritage structures or other buildings in the area.

The said committee shall comprise of structural engineers representing MMRCL, JN Petit Institute as well as IIT Bombay.

The court also directed the committee to submit a report accordingly within two weeks.

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