Versova-Bandra sea link: SC says no to casting yard at Juhu beach
A casting yard is used to store concrete components or raw material for infrastructure projects.Updated: May 10, 2019, 03:00 IST
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday dismissed the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation’s (MSRDC) special leave petition (SLP) seeking permission to set up a casting yard for the Versova-Bandra sea link project at Juhu beach, on the grounds that it would have a negative impact on the beach.
A casting yard is used to store concrete components or raw material for infrastructure projects.
Based on the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance from the Union environment ministry, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) on February 26 gave a nod to set up the casting yard.
Activist Zoru Bhathena challenged the decision in the Bombay high court (HC). The HC, on April 26, revoked the MCZMA’s permissions, citing violation of CRZ guidelines. The MSRDC then moved the Supreme Court.
The SC bench of justice Nageshwar Rao and justice MR Shah upheld the HC order. “The judges said there was nothing wrong with the HC judgment and the yard was bound to create a permanent loss.
The bench also asked MSRDC whether they could present any proof that a sandy beach could be restored post casting yard work, but they failed to do so,” said Jatin Zaveri, one of the counsels for the respondents.
“We also identified two alternative sites at Bandra, and one on Juhu Tara Road, barely 200m from the chosen site.”
After the SC’s judgment, the MSRDC requested the court if it can allow them to withdraw the SLP, with liberty to file a review petition in the HC.
“The SC accepted the request and dismissed the SLP as withdrawn,” said Kush Chaturvedi, one of the counsels for MSRDC.
MSRDC’s counsels said they will move the HC again.
The MSRDC said the alternative sites highlighted by the petitioner were under dispute.
“The decision on the course of action will be taken once we carefully study the SC order,” said Shankar Dhote, chief engineer, MSRDC.
Environmentalists said they will now oppose the MSRDC’s review petition in the HC.
“Two separate benches have highlighted that a natural beach needs to be protected. The state can’t destroy this ecosystem when alternative options are available,” said Bhathena.