HC allows Railways to construct 5th, 6th lines between Thane-Diva



Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has allowed Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) to start construction of two new lines between Thane and Diva suburban stations of Central Railway in accordance with the permission granted in principle by Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The additional two railway lines --fifth and sixth --to be constructed would help in reducing congestion of rail traffic in peak hours and also in accommodating new mail and suburban trains introduced recently, according to MRVC.

The permission to carry out construction of these new railway tracks was granted by Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohata on March 6 after hearing a plea made by MRVC in a notice of motion taken out on a suit filed by Bombay Environment Action Group.

The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation prayed in the notice of motion that they may be allowed to construct the new railway lines between Thane and Diva as the Ministry of Environment and Forests had accorded permission in principle, vide their communication dated December 5, 2012.

The Ministry, by this approval, has allowed MRVC to divert 3.231 hectares reserved forest land for construction of railway lines between Thane and Diva, subject to certain conditions set out in the communication of December 5, 2012.

The communication sets out 11 conditions and says that after receiving compliance report from the state government about the fulfilment of the conditions, a formal approval will be issued in this regard under section 2 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, by the Conservator of Forests under Ministry of Environment and Forests, Western Region, Bhopal.

The court was of the view that since approval had been granted by the concerned ministry, the railway authorities may be permitted to start the construction of the new railway lines.

PTI