Mumbai HC to expedite hearing on Metro work near agiaries

Metro authorities had filed an application seeking constitution of a special bench.

The Bombay high court has finally decided to hear and conclude the petition filed by the Parsi community against the Metro tunnelling work being carried out below two fire temples – one at the junction of Princess Street, and the other at Kalbadevi.

Metro authorities had filed an application seeking constitution of a special bench to hear the case as the delay was costing it loses of ₹4.2 crore per day.

According to the application filed by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL), the petition by the management of the two fire temples, and Atash Behrams had stalled the tunnelling work for Metro III. This, the application said was causing loss to the project to the tune of nearly ₹4.2 crore per day. The application said that this loss would only add to the escalation of the entire project cost and hence sought an expeditious hearing of the case.

It further stated that as daily hearings of the case were not possible, the court should direct the formation of a special bench that could hear the case at length and decide on it.

The petitioning managements of the fire temples had claimed that the tunnelling work would not only lead to desecration of the holy fires, but also choke the temple wells as their water sources could be damaged. According to a member of the community Rusi Nariman, as all rites and rituals of the temple are done with the water from the temple wells only, any damage would put an end to the rituals hence the petition sought shifting of the Metro tunnel away from the site.

After hearing the application, the bench of acting chief justice Naresh Patil said that it would hear the matter on September 7 and on the request of the petitioners, on September 10 and 11 too.

Published on Hindustan Times