The Bombay High Court today said that the Maharashtra government, under the garb of development, wants to destroy mangroves in the state and was hence seeking modification of a March 2013 HC order banning construction on wetlands.
A division bench of Justices A S Oka and A A Sayed had last week come down heavily on the government for failing to perform its duty of identifying wetlands in the state and instead seeking modification of the HC order.
It had then directed government pleader G W Mattosto to take instructions from the officers concerned and inform the court if the government wants to continue with the application or withdraw it.
Mattos today informed the court that the government would not withdraw the application.
“Under the garb of development you (state government) want to destroy mangroves. We do not appreciate such an approach by the government. You seem to be interested only in destroying mangroves,” the court said.
The bench said it would hear the application on merits and directed Acting Advocate General Rohit Deo to appear in the matter.
As per the March 2013 order of the HC, the government was directed to identify all wetlands in the state so that these can be marked in the map. However, till date the government has not done so, the court was informed.