Business Today
PTI feed

SC to hear on Aug 20 pleas against quashing of CRZ clearances to Rs 14K cr coastal road project

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: July 26, 2019  | 16:58 IST

New Delhi, Jul 26 (PTI) The Supreme Court Friday said it will hear on August 20 a batch of petitions seeking stay on the Bombay High Court verdict quashing the CRZ clearances granted to the Mumbai's civic body's ambitious Rs 14,000-crore coastal road project. The apex court sought response from fishermen's association, activists and residents on whose petitions the High Court on July 16 quashed the CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) clearances, saying there was "serious lacuna" in the decision-making process and lack of proper scientific study. "Notice on interim relief. The matter to be heard on August 20," said a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta. The bench was hearing the appeals filed by Municiapl Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Larsen and Toubro Ltd and HCC HDC JV. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Municipal Corporation, submitted that CRZ clearance was granted on the undisputed land. However, the bench issued notice and said it will hear the parties concerned. A division bench of the high court in its ruling said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cannot proceed with work on the 29.2 km project, which proposes to connect Marine Drive area in south Mumbai to suburban Borivali in north Mumbai. The high court noted that the environmental clearance was required to be taken by the BMC under Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification issued by the Centre. "We declare that the civic body cannot proceed with the works without obtaining an environmental clearance under EIA notification. Further, permission under the Wildlife (Protection) Act-1972 should also be obtained," the high court had said. "It is obvious that a serious lacuna has occurred in the decision-making process. We hold that there is lack of proper scientific study and this has been overlooked by Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), the EIA and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF)," it said. The high court quashed and set aside the approval granted by the MCZMA on January 4, 2017, the nod given by the EAC on March 17, 2017 and the final approval granted by the MoEF on May 11, 2017. The high court, however, had upheld the December 30, 2015 amendment to the CRZ Rules which permitted reclamation of land in coastal regulated areas for constructing roads. In April, the high court had prohibited the BMC from carrying out any further work on the project following which the corporation appealed in the Supreme Court. In May, the apex court permitted the corporation to carry out the existing work, but prohibited it from doing any new work. The apex court then directed the high court to take up the petitions for final hearing. The petitioners challenged the reclamation and construction work for the project on the primary ground that it will result in damage to the coastline and destroy major marine life along the coast and livelihood of the fishermen. They claimed that the coastal road project will irreversibly damage the coastal ecosystem and deprive the fishing community in the city of its source of livelihood. The BMC earlier told the high court that it had all the necessary approvals for the project. The project, proposed to connect south Mumbai with north western suburbs of the metropolis, was one of the flagship infrastructure schemes of the BJP-led Maharashtra government. PTI RKS ABA SA

  • Print

A    A   A