Bombay HC allows eviction of Pune slum-dwellers for Metro project

“Beyond August 30, you (Maha-Metro) will be free to follow due process of law,” the court said.

In a major relief to Pune Metro Rail, Bombay High Court Tuesday said Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (Maha-Metro), implementing the project in Pune, is free to follow due process of law of evicting and demolishing structures to proceed with a stalled project work after August 30.

Maha-Metro had filed an injunction in the court seeking a nod to rehabilitate slum-dwellers and demolish structures at Kamgar Putala Vasahat, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar and Juna Tofkhana in Shivaji Nagar to begin construction works of the metro station.

Maha-Metro is constructing an intersecting station for its Pimpri to Swargate and Vanaz to Ramwadi routes. There will be an underground station for Pimpri to Swargate and an elevated station for Vanaz to Ramwadi. These stations will be connected to the proposed metro station for Shivajinagar to Hinjewadi route in the close vicinity. The Maha-Metro has also planned to construct the Metro Bhavan for Pune Metro above the station.

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Recently, Pune Municipal Corporation along with Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and Maha-Metro carried out an exercise of signing an agreement of rehabilitating eligible affected slum-dwellers in the newly-developed structures of SRA in parts of the city.

According to Maha-Metro, the High Court said it will have to follow all due process of law after August 30 to evict authorised slum-dwellers and demolish the structures for the project. “Beyond August 30, you (Maha-Metro) will be free to follow due process of law,” the judges said adding, ineligible slum-dwellers who face eviction are free to explore remedies in law.

Earlier, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhkoni informed the court that the construction of a station of Pune Metro was on hold due to a High Court order staying all eviction and demolition drives from the beginning of the pandemic. Kumbhkoni said Maha-Metro had conducted a survey and determined eligible and ineligible slum-dwellers for rehabilitation. “We will relocate the eligible dwellers and have entered into an agreement with them. However, we cannot go ahead with the construction due to the stay order,” he said on behalf of Maha-Metro.

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