The apex court on Wednesday stayed the Bombay High Court (HC) order directing payment of Rs 10 crore compensation to 900 fishermen hit by the construction of the ongoing Thane Creek Bridge 3 (TCB 3) work.
The MSRDC official said that the order passed by a division of Justices BV Nagarathna and MS Shah has directed the Maryayi Machimaar Sahkari Sanstha Maryadit not to disburse the amount further to its members (fishermen).
On March 23, a division bench headed by Justice SJ Kathawalla of the HC had directed Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to finalise within three months a fair compensation to over 900 fishermen.
MSRDC challenged this order before the Supreme Court. A detailed order copy of the SC is awaited.
A copy of letter of intimation about the apex court's order passed on Wednesday was sent to the MSRDC by advocate Nishant Kathneshwarkar is with the FPJ. The said advocate represented MSRDC in the court.
The matter is about 900 fishermen who had filed a petition in Bombay High Court through its association "Mariyayi Machimaar Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit" a society of fishermen from Vashigaon, Juhugaon, Koparkhairane, Ghansoli and Diva koliwadas last year fearing their livelihood would be affected due to construction work of TCB-3. The HC directed MSRDC to pay Rs 10 crore to the court registrar's office to disburse the compensation to the affected fishermen.
On the contrary, the MSRDC presenting its side had said to the HC that it has formed a committee of experts at Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) wherein they want at least two seasons ( one year ) to determine the loss caused due to this project and compensate accordingly. However, without a committee report, the HC directed interim relief to the petitioners and asked MSRDC to deposit Rs 10 crore in court.
The MSRDC is constructing TCB-3 to provide major relief from traffic to commuters travelling between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The Rs 776 crore TCB-3 is expected to be ready within the next three years.
Besides considering the impact it will have on the environment the MSRDC already allotted 1.4 hectares of land in Erangal at Malad Island for carrying out afforestation. Also, it had paid Rs 15 crore separately to the mangrove cell for the conservation of mangroves and flamingo sanctuary affected by this project.
The SC has kept MSRDC’s petition for further hearing on May 9, 2022.