Maharashtra MLA, civic officials booked for building hotel on mangroves


Police in Maharashtra’s Thane district have registered a case against Mira-Bhayander BJP MLA Narendra Mehta and civic officials, for allegedly building a hotel after clearing mangroves

A case has been lodged in the Mira Road police station in Maharashtra’s Thane district, on September 21, 2019, against Mira-Bhayander BJP MLA Narendra Mehta and civic officials, following directives by the Bombay High Court, an official said. The move comes, after a local journalist had filed a petition in the Bombay HC, alleging that a hotel was built after clearing mangroves illegally.

Apart from Mehta, among those booked under relevant sections of the IPC, the Environment (Protection) Act and the and Maharashtra Regional Town Development Act 1966, are Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation commissioner, senior civic staff and directors and partners of the hotel, the official said. The civic officials are accused of giving permissions against laid down guidelines, for the construction of ‘Seven Eleven’ hotel, he added. The HC, in an order on September 19, directed the police to register an FIR and start an investigation.

 


Mumbai residents file PIL on damage to mangroves, due to road projects in Versova

A group of residents from Mumbai’s Versova, have filed a public interest litigation against the construction of road projects in the area, saying that the proposed roads would destroy mangroves in the area

March 25, 2019: A group of city residents have moved the Bombay High Court highlighting a potential threat to mangroves in suburban Versova, from the proposed construction of three link roads in the area. In a PIL filed before a bench of chief justice Naresh Patil and justice NM Jamdar, the petitioners, all residents of a private housing society in Versova, said the Maharashtra government had proposed to construct three link roads between Versova and Lokhandwala areas. The proposed roads, however, will destroy a major portion of mangroves around the Versova coast, the PIL claimed.

See also: Mumbai Coastal Road: How can authorities begin work without determining its impact, asks HC

According to the petitioners’ lawyer, Shreni Shetty, the residents first wrote to the state authorities in 2013, pointing out that the contractor carrying out soil testing for the project, had dumped the equipment close to the mangroves. However, they did not receive any response from the state, Shetty told the bench. They continued raising the issue with several state departments and finally approached the high court, the lawyer said.

According to the PIL, the proposed plan for the three elevated roads does not follow the model for sustainable development, since it will lead to the destruction of a major chunk of mangrove cover in the area. Besides, environmental laws and previous orders of the high court prohibit construction work in mangrove areas, it said. The petitioners also said the state could make some adjustments to the alignment of the proposed roads, to ensure minimal damage to the mangroves. The bench directed the petitioners to serve a notice to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other government departments concerned.

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