Petitioners welcome HC verdict on coastal road project, say justice is done

All the petitioners who moved the Bombay High Court against the construction of the southern part of the coastal road project, and residents have welcomed the judgement that restrains the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from carrying out the work.

The HC on Tuesday set aside the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance for the project, and said an environmental impact assessment is required.

Harishchandra Nakhwa, a fisherman from Worli Koliwada, said, “We are very happy with the court order. The court has made a fair decision and justice is done. If it is challenged in the Supreme Court (SC), I’m sure, the decision will again be in our favour.”

Stalin Dayanand, director of Vanashakti and one of the petitioners, said there is a procedure that needs to be followed by agencies. “Besides, prior studies are necessary. It is a good move on the HC’s part. We welcome this decision, and we’re thankful to the court. Hopefully, it will prevent further degradation.”

Dr. Nilesh Baxi, a resident of Napean Sea Road, said Larsen & Toubro and the BMC were trying to find a leeway between the territorial wars of the HC and the SC. “Now, it will at least take about 8 to 10 months to obtain clearances from all the authorities, which they cannot get since this is illegal. We petitioners look forward to create hurdles for them at every stage.”

Environmental activist Hussain Indorewala said it is a good judgement. “The clearance obtained by the BMC for the project by the CRZ is invalid. The BMC is most likely to move the SC. The project will also have to be accorded the environment clearance. Furthermore, the court has not yet found any exceptional circumstance for such a project to be carried out.”

Anil Diggikar, secretary, environment department, said the State government will wait for the nodal agency — the BMC — to appeal in the SC. “The State had earlier recommended to the Central government for all the environmental clearances.”

Debi Goenka, executive trustee, Conservation Action Trust, who is also one of the petitioners, expressed his happiness over the judgement.

Shweta Wagh, a member of the Collective for Spatial Alternatives, said she is glad that the court has acknowledged the environmental damage.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 5:06:17 PM |

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