Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday continued the stay on the construction work of the proposed Coastal Road project till June 3 and asked the authorities to maintain a ‘status quo.’ The HC even turned down the contention of contractor Larsen and Toubro (L&T), which claimed, if the work is left incomplete, there would be large-scale pollution of the sea.
A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Nitin Jamdar refused to allow L&T to intervene, saying, “The contractor has no propriety in the matter. It also does not have any liability and thus no question of penalising the contractor for incomplete work.”
The contractor L&T had moved the bench through senior counsel S U Kamdar seeking intervention in the matter. “I have mobilised crores of rupees (for the project).
If incomplete work (due to stay) is left as it is then there will be a large-scale pollution and damage to the sea than what is apprehended by the petitioners, especially during monsoon,” Kamdar submitted. The bench, however, said the stay would not make any impact on the contractor and thus dismissed their plea.
During the course of the hearing, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) urged the bench to vacate the stay imposed, especially since monsoon is approaching. “We usually face too many issues during the monsoon. If the work is left as it is during the monsoon season then it would be difficult for us to handle the consequences,” claimed the counsel representing the BMC.
At this, CJ Nandrajog suggested the civic body should file an application for appointing a court commissioner, who can be asked to video-graph the entire work at the site. “The work will be limited to strengthening the base, it should not go beyond this. Thus, we suggest you seek appointment of a court commissioner, who would ensure you are not defying our orders,” said CJ Nandrajog.
“We are conscious of the fact that Mumbai faces issues during monsoon. We also do not want the material (at the sites) to get washed away during the monsoon. Thus, file an application for court commissioner’s appointment,” CJ Nandrajog suggested.
Shrihari Aney, appearing for BMC said, the civic body would not file such an application for ‘limited work.’ “Then let there be no work till the next date of the hearing, which will be beyond summer vacations. The stay will continue till June 3,” CJ Nandrajog said while adjourning the matter.