Bombay high court asks authorities to finalise coastal zone management plan for Thane by September
Mumbai city news: The order comes amid concerns raised by environmentalists over private developers getting clearances for building structures in coastal zones based on a 1996 coastal zone management plan because of the absence of a new one.mumbai Updated: Jun 24, 2017 22:30 IST
Mumbai: The Bombay high court ordered the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) to draw up and finalise the much delayed new Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan for Thane and Sindhudurg districts by September.
The order comes amid concerns raised by environmentalists over private developers getting clearances for building structures in coastal zones based on a 1996 coastal zone management plan because of the absence of a new one.
A bench led by Justice Naresh Patil also asked the MCZMA to file a status and compliance report.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by NGO Vanashakti, highlighting the delay in finalising new coastal zone plans for Mumbai, Thane and Sindhudurg and arguing that the new maps were necessary to check unrestricted development along the coast. The NGO said that the plans must be finalised at the earliest.
While the MCZMA invited suggestions and objections on the draft plan for Mumbai city, Mumbai suburban, Raigad, and Ratnagiri, it is yet to make any progress on the plans for Thane and Sindhudurg.
The coastal zone plan defines areas where development or construction work can be allowed and also areas where it must be restricted.
Based on such maps, the MCZMA and the state authorities grant clearances to construction and development projects along the state’s coastline.
The last plan for coastal zones in Thane and Sindhudurg was finalised in 1996 and expired in 2015. According to the plea, in the absence of a new plan, the authorities have been extending its validity from time to time and processing applications for the development, based on the old plan.
In February 2016, the National Green Tribunal had imposed a blanket ban saying that no construction activity and regularising would be permitted in coastal districts of the state till MCZMA came up with the new maps and plan.
MCZMA however, appealed against the NGT order before the HC after it ordered the agency to finalise the plan for Mumbai city, suburban, Raigad and Ratnagiri by March 31, 2017. The Apex Court then extended the deadline to July this year.