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

  • Maharahtra transport minister Anil Parab was accused to have been the beneficiary of bribes collected by senior Mumbai police officers over their transfer order issued by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh (HT File Photo)

    ED conducts searches at premises linked to Shiv Sena minister Anil Parab

    The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday conducted searches at about seven places in Mumbai, Pune and Ratnagiri district's Dapoli linked to a close confidant of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra transport minister Anil Parab. Parab was under ED scanner ever since dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Vaze, the prime accused in Antilia explosives scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case, alleged that Anil Parab was among the recipients of bribes.

  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (HT PHOTO)

    BJP to attend Nitish Kumar’s all-party meet on caste census

    The Bharatiya Janata Party will attend an all-party meeting Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has convened on June 1 to discuss the modalities for a state-level caste census even as it has faced criticism from its ruling National Democratic Alliance allies for trying to stall the exercise. On May 10, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav threatened to hold a foot march from Patna to Delhi in case the census is not conducted.

  • IKEA to open a store in Bengaluru in June.

    World Economic Forum meet: IKEA to open store in Bengaluru in June

    Bengaluru might soon get an IKEA store in June this year. Swedish furniture retailer IKEA would open its flagship store in Bengaluru in June. CEO of Ingka Group, of which IKEA is a part, Jesper Brodin on Wednesday met Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai at the World Economic Forum Meet in Davos, Switzerland, and held discussions in the backdrop of the store-opening.

  • The bookstore, called Akhil Bharti, opens at 8 in the morning but there is no closing time.

    Delhiwale: A place for Premchand

    The shop consists of two rooms separated by a thin wall. One long shelf is devoted to the great Premchand. Along with his classic works like Gaban, Karmbhoomi, and Sevasadan, there is a huge selection of his short fiction, including the hauntingly titled Poos ki Raat.

  • The national average for Class 10 is 37.8%, while Delhi’s mean average is 45.4%, after students were assessed in mathematics, science, social science, English and a modern Indian language.

    NAS 2021: 'Delhi schools perform better in higher classes'

    The survey is a national-level large-scale assessment which examines the competencies developed by students in classes 3, 5, 8 and 10, and is conducted every three years to make an overall assessment of the school education system. In Delhi, 64, 049 students from 1,602 schools, both private and government, participated in the survey which took place last year.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 26, 2022