Coastal road project: SC refuses to stay Bombay HC’s quashing of CRZ clearance

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Published: July 27, 2019 10:29:23 PM

Three separate appeals have been filed by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Larsen and Toubro and HCC HDC JV against the HC order that had stopped work on the coastal road project, saying there was a “serious lacuna” in the decision-making process and lack of proper scientific study in granting nod to the project.

Coastal road project, Supreme Court, CRZ clearances, ring road in mumbai, Mumbai, Mumbai civic body, BMC, Mumbai civic bodySolicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Corporation, submitted that CRZ clearance was granted on the undisputed land.

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Bombay High Court order that quashed the CRZ clearances granted to the Mumbai civic body’s ambitious Rs 14,000-crore coastal road project. A bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi sought response from Worli Koliwada Nakhwa Matsya Vyavasay Sahkari Society, a fishermen’s association, activists and residents on whose petitions the HC on July 16 quashed the CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) clearances. It posted the matter for further hearing on August 20.

Three separate appeals have been filed by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Larsen and Toubro and HCC HDC JV against the HC order that had stopped work on the coastal road project, saying there was a “serious lacuna” in the decision-making process and lack of proper scientific study in granting nod to the project. The HC further said that all these irregularities have been overlooked by the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF). Besides, the project also requires approvals under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

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Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Corporation, submitted that CRZ clearance was granted on the undisputed land. The project envisages a substantial enhancement in the quality of life of millions of people and entails the construction of a road along the western coastline of Mumbai through a combination of a road on reclaimed land, bridges and tunnels, he said.

The project will result in a ring road around Mumbai to ease the extreme traffic congestion, reduce the high levels of vehicular air pollution and will result in 34% fuel saving per day, besides reducing the carbon footprint by about 1826 TCO2 per annum, the appeals stated, adding that the HC has erroneously held that the project requires environmental clearance under the EIA notification by giving it an interpretation that is contrary to the law laid down by the SC in another case.

The HC had stopped the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from proceeding with work on the 29.2 km project, which proposes to connect Marine Drive area in south Mumbai to suburban Borivali in north Mumbai.

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