Bombay HC allows MMRDA to cut 357 mangroves for construction of Metro piers at Sewri and Bhakti Park station
The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday allowed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) authorities to cut 357 mangroves for construction of Metro piers at Sewri and Bhakti Park station, as part of under-construction Metro Line-4 that connects Wadala in eastern suburbs to Kasarwadavli on Ghodbunder road in adjoining Thane district.
The two-member HC bench, comprising Justice SJ Kathawalla and Riyaz Chagla, allowed MMRDA authorities to cut 357 mangroves primarily after noting that Metro Line-4 is a project of “immense public importance from the point of view of public transport”.
The bench also took into consideration that all requisite permissions for the Metro-4 line have been granted by various statutory authorities.
The relief, however, is not unconditional.
The bench has directed MMRDA to scrupulously comply with the conditions imposed by authorities while granting permission.
Those include compensatory afforestation over a hectare of degraded mangrove forest at Gorai, where the authority will have to plant 4,444 mangroves saplings and also bear nursery cost, cost of raising, and maintenance of the plantation for 10 years.
Bhakti Park station on Metro Line- 4 comprises 48 piers on the alignment covering about 1,200 square metres that pass through the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ)-II and mangrove forests.
Besides, MMRDA authorities are also required to construct a temporary approach road for carrying out the construction work.
Earlier, the court directives had prohibited development work in mangrove forests and a 50-metre buffer zone around mangroves, unless HC found the work is of considerable public importance.
Metro Line-4 will also provide inter-connectivity with existing Eastern Express Highway; Central Railway stations; Mono Rail; Metro Line-2B (connecting DN Nagar in Andheri with Mandale); Metro Line-5 (Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan); Metro Line-6 (Swami Samarth Nagar-JVLR-SEEPZ-Kanjurmarg-Vikhroli), and Metro Line-8 (Wadala-General Post Office).
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