Following concerns raised over damage to old and heritage buildings, the Bombay High Court on Friday stayed tunnelling of the upcoming Mumbai Metro 3 Line for a fortnight in parts of south Mumbai till an expert survey report is completed.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manula Chellur and Justice N.M. Jamdar also directed setting up an expert committee to study the effects of the ongoing tunnelling works on buildings in the Fort area and suggest ways to carry forward the project without damage to existing structures in the vicinity.
The court's directions came in a petition filed by the trustees of J.N. Petit Institute against the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation and others recently.
The petitioners said that on August 25, a heavy, around 100 kg limestone finial adorning a portion of the JNPI's 199-year old heritage structure building fell down in its garden due to the nonstop vibrations emanating from the metro tunnel works on the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ route.
This created apprehensions that the tunnel work could damage the foundations of several old, heritage and iconic buildings in the area, contended their lawyer Fredun DeVitre.
"The committee will submit its report and suggestions, on the effects of the excavation work on the buildings within two weeks," the court said.
The JNPI includes one of the oldest libraries in Mumbai which was set up in 1856 and houses thousands of rare books.
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