Bombay HC asks for Google Maps images to assess extent of damage to mangroves

“In the interest of the common public and the future generation, the government will have to ensure wetlands are safeguarded,” the court said, while posting a petition for further hearing in March this year
The HC was hearing a bunch of PILs against several real estate projects claiming such work would lead to the destruction of mangroves and encroachment of wetlands in and around the city.(Hindustan Times)
The HC was hearing a bunch of PILs against several real estate projects claiming such work would lead to the destruction of mangroves and encroachment of wetlands in and around the city.(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Feb 08, 2017 12:16 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Observing that there was an impending need for the state to step in and prevent destruction of wetlands and mangroves, considering the “interest of the future generation,” the Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the state to submit older and current Google map images of wetlands and mangroves to help the court assess the extent of the damage.

A bench of justice VM Kanade and justice PR Bora were hearing a bunch of PILs filed by the Vanshakti Trust and others against several development and private real estate projects claiming such work would lead to the destruction of mangroves and encroachment of wetlands in and around the city.

The state and other respondents, meanwhile, argued that some crucial development projects such as new highways, and even a portion of the proposed airport at Navi Mumbai would encroach upon some mangrove rich area and that while the consequent destruction of mangroves could not be avoided, these projects were in the public’s interest and that the respondents would carry out compensatory replantation.

At this the bench said while it had cleared several development projects in the past on the ground that they were in public interest and that the petitioners should not adopt “an adversarial” attitude towards such projects, it was also essential to rein in indiscriminate destruction of wetlands and mangroves.

“I have no doubt that there are encroachments on wetlands and that mangroves are being destroyed. Nobody can deny that. The ideal thing to do would be to take an old Google map image of an affected area and compare it with a new one. What is important is to see is what the authorities are doing to prevent and restore such destruction. And also, what steps are being taken to prevent further destruction,” the court said.

“We cannot do anything in those places where buildings have already been constructed on wetlands. But in the future, some kind of a cut off must be imposed to define how much construction can be allowed in such areas,” the bench said. “In places like Mira-Bhayander and Panvel that are relatively untouched, we have to see to it that mangroves are saved,” Justice Kanade said.

The bench said while it did not want to interfere in cases of public utility projects that already secure permissions from ministries and authorities concerned, the agencies carrying out such work must ensure compensatory re-plantation at an alternate spot.

“In the interest of the common public and the future generation, the government will have to ensure wetlands are safeguarded,” the court said, while posting a petition for further hearing in March this year.

Read more:
80% fall in mangrove destruction in 1 year, says study by Maharashtra government

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • One of the 14 Mughal-era gateways to punctuate the Walled City’s wall, the graceful Ajmeri Gate today is like a queen without her palace.

    Delhiwale: This way to Ajmeri Gate

    This venerable stone gateway originally signposted the way to the aforementioned pilgrim town. One of the 14 Mughal-era gateways to punctuate the Walled City’s wall, the graceful Ajmeri Gate today is like a queen without her palace.

  • Mahesh Choudhary, 45, went missing on April 4, 2007 and the case was registered five days later, after his son, Rakesh Choudhary, then 22, filed a missing complaint. (Representation purpose)

    Delhi: Cop’s hunt for kidnapper ends after a 15-year wait

    Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Sanjeev Tomar’s quest ended on May 28, when he and members of his team arrested a man named Hari Om for abducting and killing Choudhary. Tomar, 47, now posted with the crime branch, was a constable at the Badarpur police station when the crime took place in 2007.

  • DFS chief Atul Garg said, “The addition of 89 new firefighting vehicles will help us improve our response time across Delhi”. (Photo by Amal KS /Hindustan Times)

    89 new trucks to help DFS speed up rescue operations

    The approval for purchasing 89 new fire trucks was sought against the condemnation of 60 fire trucks, which have diesel engines and have reached their expiry time of 10 years, and have to be taken off service.

  • Delhi minister Satyendar Jain. (ANI FILE)

    ED arrests 2 more in money laundering case against Delhi minister Satyendar Jain

    Vaibhav and Ankush were arrested under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). ED said both are directors of Ram Prakash Jewellers Pvt Ltd, which was raided on June 6. After the searches at premises linked to six people including the jewellery firm’s five directors, ED said it recovered 2.85 crore and 133 gold coins, alleging that the gold was from “unexplained sources” and was “secreted” in the properties.

  • A MCD official said enforcement teams seized 689.01 kg of plastic items and issued 368 challans on Friday.

    Problem of plenty: Ban no bar, Delhi markets struggle to get rid of plastics

    Following the latest notification of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2022 in February, the central government directed all states and union territories (UTs) to phase out SUPs in a planned manner by July 1, 2022.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, July 02, 2022