Two electric meters kept inside a box in Wadala, stated to be on Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA)-acquired land, have for the last four months stalled the laying of pillars for the monorail project. The meters belong to a shop owner who has his premise nearby. He claims to be a tenant of the land on which the meter box lies.
A division bench of justices J Vazifdar and Revati Mohite Dhere on Wednesday directed the BEST to shift the meters subject to moving them to another temporary location in a functional condition. Before moving, the BEST should satisfy itself that the property on which it is shifting them to belongs to MMRDA. The court has expressed no view as regards to the structure and the separate proceedings carried out by the tenant.
The court was hearing a petition filed by MMRDA seeking directions to the BEST to remove the electric meters as it did not have expertise to do so. It was also argued by the authority that the meter box is on the acquired land and they would demolish the structure if the meters were shifted. However, the BEST is not doing so as the tenants have not given consent for the same.
The tenants Changuram Rao and his son Arvind have been opposing the shifting on the grounds that the pillars, which are to be built for construction of monorail, are not likely to come up on the spot near the meter box. Furthermore, they argued, a stay has been obtained by them from the high court against BMC action of demolishing their shop's structure to which electricity is supplied through those meters.
MMRDA also argued that due to this meter box the authority is losing lakhs of rupees as the second phase of the monorail project cannot be implemented.
The court, after hearing both sides, noted that it was not possible at this stage to decide whether MMRDA requires demolition of the structure (meter box), and, thus, it would be for the BEST to decide within two weeks on whether it can shift the meters.