New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notice in the appeal filed by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai against the Bombay High Court order that quashed the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) approval for the southern part of the Bombay Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ₹14,000-crore coastal road project.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the appellants appeared before the Apex court bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and comprising of Justice Deepak Gupta. The bench also refused to stay the Bombay court order but issued the notice to the opposite parties on the plea for interim relief. The case shall be next heard on 20 August.
This is setback for Maharashtra Govt, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) who are the main effected parties in the coastal road project.
Earlier this month, a bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N.M. Jamdar on 17 July in a detailed judgement, asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to stop work till fresh environment clearances and notifications are obtained after a proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Work on the long-pending project had started in October, after the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) issued the final clearance in May 2017. The court quashed various environmental clearances granted by the state and Central governments. The bench also held that there was a lack of “proper scientific study" and this was overlooked by the MCZMA (Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority), EIA and MoEF.
The judgement came in response to a bunch of public interest litigations filed by two fishermen’s cooperatives, called Worli Koliwada Nakhwa Matsyavyavasay Sahakari Society Ltd and Worli Machchimar Sarvoday Sahakari Society, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Vanashakti, Conservation Action Trust, Society for Improvement, Greenery and Nature, Bombay Environmental Action Group, and a number of architects and environmental activists, against MCGM, the department of fisheries, government of Maharashtra, MoEF and MCZMA, among other government authorities related to the project. All petitions were filed against different components of the project before construction began last year.
The expressway, when and if completed, is projected to be used by nearly 130,000 vehicles every day and reduce the 120-minute ride between South Mumbai and western suburbs to 40 minutes. The Shiv Sena-ruled MCGM is the implementing authority for the 29.2-km-long eight-lane highway.