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Not court’s job to convene meetings: High Court to state

Senior advocate Gayatri Singh, who represented the petitioner body, complained that the work undertaken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was hampering fishing activity at Worli.

mumbai Updated: Mar 20, 2019 03:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
court,high court,mumbai
The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday came down heavily on the state government for lack of coordination between its departments involved with the Rs 14,000 crore coastal road project in Mumbai. (HT Photo)

The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday came down heavily on the state government for lack of coordination between its departments involved with the Rs 14,000 crore coastal road project in Mumbai. “It is not the job of this court to convene meetings of officers from your various departments,” the bench told the government pleader, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed against the coastal road project.

“We have seen in a number of matters that whenever more than four to five departments are involved in a matter there is complete lack of coordination,” said the division bench of chief justice Naresh Patil and justice Nitin Jamdar. “And, then we have to order a meeting of officers from the departments,” the bench added. It was not the job of the court to convene such meetings, the bench told government pleader, Purnima Kantharia.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Worli Koliwada Nakhwa Matsya Vyavsay Sahakari Society Limited. The body expressed apprehension that the coastal road project will have a profound impact on their customary right of fishing and is likely to adversely affect their livelihood.

Senior advocate Gayatri Singh, who represented the petitioner body, complained that the work undertaken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was hampering fishing activity at Worli.

“Reclamation work is being undertaken at breeding sites and this means there will be no fish to catch in the nearby areas,” Singh told the court. She also pointed out that the fishing areas have not been identified by any of the authorities.

When the court inquired about identification of fishing areas and the purported destruction of breeding grounds near coastal areas, the commissioner of fisheries, who was present in court, could not answer the queries. He submitted that the Central Marine Research Centre, Versova, would be able to inform the court on the matter.

The court said the BMC had not done its homework properly before undertaking the ambitious project.

Senior advocate Anil Sakhare, who represented BMC, submitted that the civic body was willing not only to compensate the affected fishermen families but also to rehabilitate them. He sought time saying he will come back with a plan for compensating and rehabilitating the affected families.

First Published: Mar 20, 2019 03:28 IST