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Pay those displaced along Tansa pipeline if houses unavailable: HC to Maha govt

The Bombay High Court said that if the Maharashtra government is unable to provide accommodation to people displaced following the demolition of their houses along the Tansa water pipeline, then it should pay them to find, on their own, a place to stay.

The high court had earlier this month directed the states chief secretary to identify a place in Mumbai, where these persons could be accommodated.

The chief secretary, in his affidavit filed on Friday, expressed inability to find a place for them.

Irked by this, the court said if the government was finding itself in a problematic situation, then it should pay the project affected persons.

“Since the government cannot find an immediate solution by way of accommodating these persons, the only order we can pass is to ask the government to pay an adequate amount to each person who has been displaced. This would enable these persons to find a place to stay in the city on their own,” Justice A S Oka said.

“We direct the chief secretary to consider this solution and file an affidavit,” the court said, posting the matter for further hearing in July.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in compliance with a previous order of the high court, has been demolishing encroachments, including unauthorised residential and commercial structures, along the Tansa pipeline that runs across nine administrative wards of the city.

Initially, the state government had decided to accommodate the displaced persons in suburban Mahul village.

However, they refused to move there, citing high pollution levels due to nearby refineries.

The people had relied on an observation made by the Mumbai bench of the National Green Tribunal in a related matter to this effect.

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