New constructions in the city will continue to be put on hold. The Bombay high court on Thursday refused to revoke its February 2016 order restraining the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the state government from granting any permissions for new constructions.
A division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice CV Bhadang on Thursday rejected a plea filed by the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) seeking a review of the February 29, 2016 order, which restrained the BMC and the state government from granting any permission for new residential or commercial construction within BMC limits.
The court had issued the order after noticing that more than half the municipal solid waste generated in the city was being dumped contrary to the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Management Rules and thus was illegal. The court had stayed permissions for new constructions saying, “More and more constructions in the city will increase population density, which will lead to generation of more and more municipal solid waste as also construction waste.
MCHI had approached the high court seeking a review of the February 29 order contending that there was no basis for the court to conclude that new constructions will lead to creation of more solid waste. The body of builders and developers further contended that as far as construction activity was concerned, there were separate Construction and Demolition Waste rules and those rules were being strictly complied with.
The bench on Thursday rejected the plea noting that the main basis of the February 29 restraint order was the complete failure of the BMC to comply with MSW Rules. Besides, at that time, there was no possibility that the civic body will be able to comply with the rules in near future, the judges said.
The court said even today there is hardly any improvement in the scenario. The judges noted that according to an affidavit filed by the BMC, around 8,600 metric tonnes a day of municipal solid waste is being generated in the city, but the municipal corporation has capacity to process only 3,000 metric tonnes of solid waste a day (at the Kanjurmarg dumping ground), and thus the remaining 5,600 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste is still being dumped illegally.
The court also noted that there was hardly any improvement in the situation as far as the development of two plots – one at Taloja and the other near Airoli bridge — as dumping grounds. There are large-scale encroachments on the Taloja plot and unless they are removed, the plot cannot be put to use as a dumping site, the court noted. The plot near Airoli bridge, the bench noted, has even been measured and there are disputes between the state government and the salt department of the central government.
The bench refused to review the restraining order noting that the BMC will not be able to meet even the extended deadline of June 2017 to create facilities for processing at least 11,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste per day.