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Work on Rs 14,000 Crore Mumbai Coastal Road to Stop as HC Says Environmental Clearance Must

The Bombay HC quashed the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances while allowing a bunch of petitions filed by activists, residents and fishermen from the city challenging the project.

News18.com

Updated:July 16, 2019, 12:19 PM IST
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Work on Rs 14,000 Crore Mumbai Coastal Road to Stop as HC Says Environmental Clearance Must
The HC's ruling means the BMC cannot continue work on the project.
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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday quashed the CRZ clearances granted to the city civic body's Rs 14,000-crore coastal road project. The project proposed to connect Marine Drive area in south Mumbai to Borivali in north Mumbai.

A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N M Jamdar quashed the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances while allowing a bunch of petitions filed by activists, residents and fishermen from the city challenging the project.

"We are quashing the CRZ clearances granted to the project. We have held that the environment clearance is required for the project," the bench said. The court's ruling means the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cannot continue work on the project.

The petitioners had stated that the ongoing reclamation was not only illegal but will also irreversibly alter coastal morphology, biodiversity, and traditional ecological practices.

The bench had at a hearing last month observed that it was “common sense that where there are coral reef, they need stagnant water. You are causing fairly irreversible damage to that part of the coast." The Chief Justice had said, "This has to be justified…have to show how much damage will be caused…We have to track where did it all go wrong."

The petitioners, opposing the rampant reclamation of the coast in south Mumbai for the project, argued that the permissions it has proceeded on were not enough.

Senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas, arguing for the petitioners, said the BMC was implementing the project with faulty, illegal green clearance accorded in May 2017 by the environment ministry.

The project flies in the face of the environmental notifications over Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and exceptions carved under it, the petitioners said. Shweta Wagh, Worli fishermen, Conservation Action Trust, Vanashakti, Society for Improvement, Greenery and Nature (SIGN) were among the petitioners.

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