NEW DELHI :
Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Bombay High Court order quashing the Coastal Road Zone clearances granted to Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai ₹14,000 crore coastal road project. The apex court however said that authorities can reclaim the land meant for construction of the eight-lane 29.2 km-long road project but cannot develop it till the further orders of the court.
The bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde was hearing the appeal filed by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N.M. Jamdar on 16 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 high court judgement had come in response to a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) 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.