Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) to take all requisite clearances especially the ones related to environment, before starting the work of much-awaited Bullet train. This comes after the NHSRCL informed the HC that the alternative plot proposed by Godrej for the Bullet train in Vikhroli was ‘suitable’ for the project.
The group through its subsidiary – Godrej And Boyce Manufacturing Co. Ltd. had filed a writ petition before a division bench of Justices Naresh Patil and Girish Kulkarni seeking realignment of the bullet train. According to the plea, the bullet train would pass through its ‘prime’ plot in Vikhroli. The group has sought realignment only to ensure its nearly 8 acre plot is not acquired by the NHSRCL for the project. The group has accordingly sought changing the route demarcated for the bullet train.
On Tuesday, when the matter was called for hearing, the bench was informed that the land, which the NHSRCL demanded for the project, was embroiled in a legal dispute between the government and the Godrej group. The dispute pertains to the title of the land and the same is pending before a single-bench of the HC since 1994.
Citing this ‘dispute’ the group then proposed to offer another alternate plot to the NHSRCL for its project in Vikhroli. The NHSRCL on the other hand, submitted an affidavit before the bench claiming that the proposed plot was ‘suitable’ for the project. It further informed the bench that it will examine the proposal from all possible aspect and take a final decision by the next date of hearing.
Having heard the submissions, Justice Patil said, “We think the state government must get everything pertaining to the proposed plot verified since we do not want a situation that the same land is also embroiled in some legal dispute.” The bench further said that apart from the technical issues, the NHSRCL should also ensure it has all requisite clearances from all the concerned departments/authorities.
Justice Patil said, “There are a lot of things to consider apart from such technical aspects, especially the rules and regulations pertaining to environment, the presence of mangroves and so on. Ensure you have all these clearances and permissions even before you start the work.” The bench has accordingly posted the matter for further hearing on September 5.