Pune: ECI Tells Bombay High Court, No Construction On Metro Land Until June 

Pune: ECI Tells Bombay High Court, No Construction On Metro Land Until June

Pune: ECI Tells Bombay High Court, No Construction On Metro Land Until June

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Pimpri Chinchwad’s eco-conscious citizens take on ECI over Metro Eco Park construction.

10 May 2024

By Payoshi Bisht

The Election Commission of India (ECI) faced scrutiny from the Bombay High Court on Thursday regarding the preservation of greenery in Pune’s Metro Eco Park, Akurdi.

Senior counsel Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, representing the ECI, assured the court that no trees would be cut down, nor would any construction be initiated until June on the land allotted for the Metro Eco Park in Akurdi. This land is intended for constructing a godown for Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), and a regional training centre for the ECI, according to the petitioners. 

However, the ECI clarified that the construction activities are confined to an adjacent plot and are not being extended to the land allocated for afforestation. This statement came in response to allegations raised by petitioners questioning the construction plans.

Prashant Raul, who filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) along with Shivaji Shelke against the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, stated that, “We had a hearing in the court yesterday where we presented all relevant facts diligently, hoping to shed light on the truth. Initially, the PCMC authorities were granted three weeks to substantiate their claims, but unfortunately, this period has been extended. As of now, we eagerly await the results.” 

As per the statement given by Shivaji Shelke, they are still awaiting the decision from the court. There have been no developments so far as the construction has been halted as of now. 

The Bombay High Court, led by Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya, raised concerns about the allocation of two plots in Pune’s Ravet area, including one designated for open space, for purposes such as EVM and VVPAT storage without following due process. Advocate Ronita Bhattacharya Bector highlighted that the disputed plot is originally reserved as open space in the Ravet layout plan and serves as compensatory afforestation for the Pune Metro project.