Can’t measure damage to environment in rupees: HC

The cost of development can be measured in rupees, but destruction of environment cannot, the Bombay High Court observed on Monday, and said it will hear all matters pertaining to Aarey colony on September 17.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre said there are several petitions pending regarding Aarey — to declare it a forest, check if it is part of Sanjay Gandhi National Park and to save the floodplain.

One of the petitions, filed by a local resident Zoru Bhathena, has challenged a resolution passed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Tree Authority on August 29 to remove 2,646 (to cut 2,185 and transplant 461) trees in Aarey colony to make way for a Metro car shed.

The Bench said, “We need both environment and development. Hence, we need to contrast and compare the two. The world over scientists and ecologists are researching the issue of how to value environmental loss.”

The court also said, “Issues as critical as this are very difficult to decide. Cost of development can be measured in rupees, but destruction of environment cannot be.”

The Chief Justice said he has personally been researching the issue of putting a cost to environmental destruction. He shared five files of his studies on the matter, and sought inputs from the petitioners, the BMC, State government and the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 10:11:50 AM |

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