Bombay HC raps NMMC over mangroves, cites Aus bushfire

Bombay HC raps NMMC over mangroves, cites Aus bushfire

The petitioner claimed CIDCO, Revenue authorities and NMMC had caused major damage to mangroves and environment by granting development permissions

Bombay High Court. (DH Photo)

The Bombay High Court on Monday rapped the Navi Mumbai civic body for failing to take steps to protect mangroves there and referred to the environmental crisis being faced by Australia due to massive bushfires.

A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and R I Chagla was hearing a petition filed by NGO Save Mangroves and Navi Mumbai Existence claiming the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and the city's planning authority City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) were permitting cutting of mangroves for development projects without proper application of mind.

The petitioner claimed CIDCO, Revenue authorities and NMMC had caused major damage to mangroves and environment by granting development permissions in various sectors of Navi Mumbai.

It claimed authorities failed to declare coastal land densely covered with mangroves as forest land and had marked the same as development zone.

The land has been divided into plots and marked for construction of commercial and residential buildings, it said.

"One of such various projects is the proposed site for NMMC headquarters near Sector-15A of CBD-Belapur," the plea said.

The court on Monday after hearing brief arguments said NMMC had failed to protect mangroves in the area.

"Look at what is happening in Australia....the fire is because of absence of mangroves. Here, we have mangroves but you (civic authority) are not doing anything to protect them," the court said.

The court said it would pass appropriate orders in the petition later. 

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