Maharashtra withdraws plea against ban on construction on wetlands


In a major relief for green activists and the state’s ecology, the Maharashtra government has withdrawn a plea that sought modification of an earlier high court order that banned construction on wetlands

After the Bombay High Court pulled up the Maharashtra government for not identifying the wetlands in the state, the government on July 11, 2016, withdrew its plea seeking modification of a 2013 order banning construction in these areas.

A division bench of justices AS Oka and AA Sayyed was hearing an application filed by the state government, seeking modification of the order passed by another bench of the high court on March 19, 2013, banning construction on wetlands. The government’s lawyer said that it wanted to withdraw the application for modification and the court allowed it.

The 2013 order directed the government to identify the wetlands in the state so that they could be marked on the map.

See also: The fight for Mumbai’s open spaces

At the hearing last month, the high court had castigated the state, for not carrying out this task and instead, seeking modification of the order banning the construction.

“You have not complied with the high court order and the rules formulated thereafter by the central government,” the court had said, warning of contempt action.

Wetlands in the state, primarily along the coast, are home to a variety of mangroves.

 

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