No Metro work at night till MPCB files report: HC

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said it was not inclined to allow the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) to carry out work on the Metro 3 line in Cuffe Parade at night till the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) submits a report on noise pollution.

The court directed the MPCB to record ambient noise levels in the area during day and night, and submit a report on August 2. “Till the report is submitted, we propose to continue the previous order prohibiting MMRCL from carrying out work at night,” a Division Bench of Justices A.S. Oka and Riyaz Chagla said.

The court was hearing an application by MMRCL seeking modification of the prohibition order, passed when local residents complained of noise pollution. MMRCL and the contractor Larsen & Toubro had claimed that the ambient noise level at Cuffe Parade was 80 decibels during the day, and 61 at night.

MMRCL counsel Ashutosh Kumbhkoni had argued the Noise Pollution Rules 2000 would not apply to the Metro work. The Bench rejected the argument on Wednesday. Justice Oka said, “We are of the view that the rules would apply. We will have to draw a balance between fundamental rights of citizens to a pollution-free environment and public interest.”

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