Mumbai Metro: HC to hear MMRDA appeal on rail fares on Monday

MMRDA has challenged the order of a single-judge bench which ruled that the State government agency had no right to decide the fare of the Mumbai Metro

The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has challenged in the Bombay High Court an order of its single-judge bench holding that the State government agency had no right to decide the fare of the Mumbai Metro rail which connects Versova in the west to Ghatkopar in the east.

 

The appeal filed by MMRDA, a state agency, is likely to come up for hearing on 7th July before a bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah.

 

Last week on 24th June, Justice RD Dhanuka had rejected MMRDA’s petition challenging the fares for Mumbai Metro.

 

MMRDA had pleaded that a minimum fare of Rs9 and maximum fare of Rs13 should be charged for the rail corridor as per the agreement between the parties, while the operator – Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL) – announced higher fares ranging between Rs10 to Rs40.

 

Justice Dhanuka, in his order, had also asked the government to direct the fare fixation committee (FFC) to expeditiously fix the tariff of the 11.4-km rail corridor.

 

According to MMRDA, the fares had been decided collectively by all the stake-holders earlier and Reliance Infra, the majority shareholder in MMOPL cannot change them unilaterally without following a due procedure.

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    Maharashtra asked to declare construction policy for banks of rivers

    Vanashakti, an NGO had filed the petition asking for a direction to the state to prohibit construction within 100 metres of flood level of all rivers, lakes, creeks and 50 metres of tributaries

    The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra Government to file an affidavit within three weeks declaring its policy on allowing constructions along the banks of rivers, lakes, creeks and tributaries.

     

    The order was given by a bench headed by justices VM Kanade and PD Kode while admitting a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Vanashakti, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), asking for a direction to the state to prohibit construction within 100 metres of flood level of all rivers, lakes, creeks and 50 metres of tributaries.

     

    Irreparable damage is caused to the environment by creating hindrances on the banks of natural resources such as rivers, lakes, creeks and tributaries by constructing walls or barriers by housing projects, the PIL alleged.

     

    Referring to a Government notification, the PIL said that as of now there is a ban only on industries from 500 metres to eight kms on either side of rivers. The PIL urged that policy should be changed and this ban should also extend to residential and commercial projects.

     

    The PIL further alleged that a wall running up to two kms had been constructed by a housing project along the banks of river Ulhas, near Dombivali, resulting in changing the course of flood waters of the river. In doing so, many areas have become flood-prone, it said.

     

    The petition said that if such constructions are allowed to continue along the river banks, the lives and properties of the local people would be endangered. Also, there would be no check on sewage going from these projects into the river, the PIL alleged.

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    Indian nurses in Iraq freed, to reach Kochi on Saturday

    The 46 nurses set free by the militants of ISIS are expected to reach Kochi Saturday morning

    A group of 46 Indian nurses held captive by Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in strife-torn Iraq have been set free and are being brought back home in a special Air India plane which left this evening for Erbil, a non-conflict zone.

     

    The nurses are expected to reach Kochi Saturday morning, officials said on a day of dramatic developments in efforts to end their ordeal.

     

    Air India is sending a Boeing 777 aircraft to bring back 46 nurses and other Indians stranded in strife-torn Iraq.

     

    The Boeing 777 (Long Range), with a seating capacity for about 300 passengers, would shortly take off from Delhi's IGI Airport to Erbil in north Iraqi region of Kurdistan and is likely to return to Kochi on its way back.

     

    Besides the Boeing 777, two Boeing 747 jumbos have been kept ready to fly at short notice, they said, adding that cockpit and cabin crew to operate them were also on standby.

     

    These 46 Indian nurses, who were forced to move out of Tikrit city in Iraq's conflict zone, were on their way to Erbil, a non-conflict area in the country where a team of Indian officials was waiting to receive them. The flight would directly take them to Kochi as most of them are from Kerala.

     

    The nurses were taken by Sunni militants ISIS on Friday from a hospital basement in Tikrit to an undisclosed location.

     

    There were about 10,000 Indians before the start of the serious strife between government troops and Sunni militants, backed by al Qaida. The militants have captured two key cities and are marching towards Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced in the fighting that broke out on 10th June.

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