J N Petit library takes fight against MMRC’s Metro work to Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The 119-year-old J N Petit library situated at D N Road at Fort has taken legal recourse and moved Bombay High Court (HC) against the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) claiming its ongoing Metro III work is endangering their heritage structure.

A senior administrator of the library stated that even after repeatedly complaining to the MMRC, they had notreceived any cooperation and were therefore moving court. An officer of J N Petit library said they were compelled to file a petition in the HC in order to preserve the heritage structure. One of the sculptures  of the building collapsed on August 25, on the adjacent footpath, though fortunately nobody was harmed.

The petition filed by the library in HC on September 8, states that the current alignment of Metro III should be shifted to an alternate location, below Cross Maidan and have objected to the station being constructed at Hutatma Chowk. Further, the petition states that a comprehensive study of all the structures situated on the heritage lane should be conducted by an independent structural engineer and a conservation architect and all Metro work should be stopped till that time. The library officials have also demanded that MMRC replace the limestone finial which broke due to their construction activity.

Free Press Journal had on  September 7 published a story regarding the claims made by the library officials that the designed finial sculptures outside their building wall had collapsed due to the rigorous drilling work carried out by Metro. On the contrary, the MMRC spokesperson had denied the allegations made by the library officials and claimed that the mishap occurred due to a tree branch hitting the affected property.

“The matter was listed before Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar on September 11 but did not appear for hearing due to a long list of matters on that day,” said the officer. The library officials also remarked that after the limestone sculpture broke, the Metro officials now want to construct a protection pillar near the remaining sculptures so as to protect them. The protection pillar would be constructed with wooden material and thermocol.

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