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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Find ways to save mangroves, keep infra projects going: Bombay HC

The HC was hearing a petition against the cutting down of mangroves in Mumbai for various development projects.

mumbai Updated: Jul 10, 2019 13:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
File photo of a stretch of mangroves near Juhu-Versova Link road, at Andheri, in Mumbai.
File photo of a stretch of mangroves near Juhu-Versova Link road, at Andheri, in Mumbai. (HT File )

The Bombay high court (HC) has asked petitioners to come up with alternatives to save mangroves as cutting them is inevitable for various ongoing development projects in the city.

On Tuesday, a bench of chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog and justice NM Jamdar, while hearing a notice of motion filed by activist Zoru Bhathena, was informed by senior advocate Gayatri Singh that a previous bench of the HC on February 8, 2019, had permitted Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to cut mangroves on around 150 sqm for a stretch of the Bandra-Versova sea link at Andheri.

However, after the permission, MSRDC said they would cut 30,000 sqm of mangroves.

Singh informed the court that the HC permission to MSRDC was based on the fact that the authorities, namely the MoEF and MCZMA, had cleared the project and MSRDC had submitted that they would be cutting a limited number of mangroves. However, after the HC permission, MSRDC said they wanted to clear the entire patch of mangroves under the stretch of road on stilts.

After hearing Singh, the bench referred to a dialogue from the film Mughal e Azam, wherein Akbar addressed Anarkali saying “while Salim will not let you die, I will not let you live”. The court compared the petitioners to Salim and authorities to Akbar. Chief justice Nandrajog said, “Cutting of mangroves is inevitable for different projects. You suggest alternatives whereby the mangroves can be saved and the projects can go on.”