HC raps NMMC for failing to protect mangroves

Court cites bushfires in Australia

The Bombay High Court on Monday rapped the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) for failing to take steps to protect mangroves in the city and referred to the environmental crisis being faced by Australia due to massive bushfires.

A Division Bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and R.I. Chagla was hearing a petition filed by the NGO, Save Mangroves and Navi Mumbai Existence, claiming that the NMMC and the city’s planning authority, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), were permitting cutting of mangroves to make way for development projects without proper application of mind.

The petitioner claimed that the CIDCO, revenue authorities and the NMMC had caused major damage to mangroves and the environment by granting development permissions in various sectors of Navi Mumbai. It claimed that authorities failed to declare coastal land densely covered with mangroves as forest land and had marked them as development zones.

The land has been divided into plots and marked for construction of commercial and residential buildings, Save Mangroves and Navi Mumbai Existence said in its plea. “One of such various projects is the proposed site for the NMMC headquarters near Sector 15A in CBD Belapur,” the plea said.

The court on Monday after hearing brief arguments said the NMMC had failed to protect mangroves in the area. The Bench said, “Look at what is happening in Australia.... the fire is because of absence of mangroves. Here, we have mangroves but you [NMMC] are not doing anything to protect them.” The court said it would pass appropriate orders in the petition later.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 3:46:22 PM |

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