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Couple files petition in Bombay high court to save Navi Mumbai wetlands

The duo files petition against Cidco, state government and a private construction company

mumbai Updated: Mar 17, 2018 13:29 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra government,Cidco
Sunil and Shruti Agarwal have filed a petition in Bombay high court.(HT Photo)

After being unable to stop construction activity across an 80-hectare wetland patch, home to several migratory birds, a Navi-Mumbai based couple – Sunil Agarwal, 55, and Shruti, 50, – has approached the Bombay high court (HC) for help.

The duo on Wednesday filed a petition against the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), a private construction company and the state government, after they issued a notification changing the land-use of the wetland patch from a no-development zone to regional park based on a proposal to develop 17 residential buildings with 1,564 flats, 20 offices, and a golf course near Talawe wetlands in sector 60, Seawoods, Nerul, Navi Mumbai.

The HC made the petition part of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Navi Mumbai Environmental Preservation Society (PIL 218/2013), and issued notices to respondents in the matter on Friday and has asked them to submit their responses by March 21.

READ: Mumbai couple guards an 80-hectare wetland, protects it from destruction

Over the past three years, the couple living in NRI Complex in Nerul, Navi Mumbai, has stopped five different cases of illegal construction, mangrove destruction and reclamation of an 80-hectare wetland patch opposite their home.

HT had reported about the efforts by the couple in January.

On October 5, 2016, the state urban development department, based on discussions with the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), issued a notification changing land use of the Talawe wetland patch for construction of the project across 67 of the 80 hectare patch. “MCZMA has issued the approval to go ahead with construction relying on clarifications given by CIDCO that the area is not a wetland,” said Agarwal. “They could have asked forest department or BNHS.” “When we gave the clearance to CIDCO, it was on condition that there will not be environmental damage,” said Satish Gavai, additional chief secretary, state environment department.

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 13:28 IST