The Bombay high court has issued a notice to the state government seeking its reply to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking that the government’s proposal to begin seaplane services in Mumbai and other parts of the state be scrapped as it will cause extensive ecological damage.
The PIL, filed by a resident of Nashik, claims that the sea plane and boat club projects that were proposed by the Maharashtra government in 2014, will particularly prove damaging to the Gangapur dam in Nashik that is the main source of water for the city and its neighbouring areas.
Seaplanes are powered fixed-wing aircrafts capable of taking off and landing on water. The government had proposed the project to provide residents of Mumbai the opportunity to travel between Juhu and Girgaum Chowpatty without getting stuck in traffic. The government had claimed that both the sea plane and boat club projects would also provide a boost to state tourism.
Tourist destinations like Ganpatipule, Tarkali Harihareshwar and other locations on sea fronts are to be brought within aerial reach of Mumbai as part of the project.
Once the project is operational, the aircrafts would alight at Gangapur dam. As a part of the boat club project, water sports activities, an adventure sports complex, and a cafeteria service has been proposed around the dam.
The plea however, has cited several reports by environmentalists claiming that the projects will end up “destroying” the dam which, besides providing water to residents, also hosts several migratory and resident birds.
A bench led by Justice VM Kanade is likely to take up the matter for further hearing on October 17.