The Bombay High Court on Tuesday set aside the Coastal Regulation Zone clearance granted to the Mumbai civic body’s coastal road project, PTI reported.
“We are quashing the CRZ clearances granted to the project,” a division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice NM Jamdar said. “We have held that the environment clearance is required for the project.” The High Court ruling means the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation cannot continue work on the project.
The High Court allowed a batch of petitions filed by activists, residents and fishermen challenging the construction of the coastal road project at a cost of Rs 14,000 crore.
The coastal road project proposes to improve the connectivity between Marine Drive in south Mumbai and Borivali in north Mumbai and decongest the western express highway and arterial roads.
On July 1, the Bombay High Court had reserved judgment on a batch of petitions which sought to quash the decision of the civic body to implement the project and the Coastal Regulation Zone clearance granted for the project in May 2017 by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bar and Bench reported.
The petitioners claimed that the reclamation work undertaken for the project was illegal and would alter coastal biodiversity and traditional ecological practices, The Indian Express reported.
Senior Advocate Janak Dwarakadas, who appeared for the petitioners, had argued that the project lacked several clearances and permissions including those from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, the Maharashtra State Coastal Zone Management Authority, and the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee.
Dwarakadas said that the construction of the southern part of the project from Princess Street to the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli sea link had proceeded based on the clearance granted in 2017, but that was not enough to proceed with the project.
In April, the Bombay High Court had restrained the Mumbai civic body from carrying out any further work on the project. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation then filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.
In May, the Supreme Court allowed the corporation to carry out existing work but prohibited it from carrying out any new work. It had also directed the Bombay High Court to take up the matter for final hearing, according to Bar and Bench.