The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that after Diwali break it would hear petitions against a Bombay High Court order quashing Coastal Regulation Zone clearances given to Mumbai’s civic body for a coastal road project, PTI reported.
In July, the High Court had said an environmental clearance would be required for the Rs 14,000-crore project. It allowed a series of petitions by activists, residents, and fishermen challenging the project, which aims to improve the connectivity between Marine Drive in South Mumbai and Borivali in the city’s northern part. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the project will also decongest the western express highway and arterial roads.
A bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the matter would be listed before the bench headed by Justice SA Bobde. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the civic body, asked for an interim order to resume the project. The 30-km-long coastal road initiative started in 2018, and has a 2020 deadline, he added. However, the top court dismissed his plea, reported IANS.
The petitioners have claimed that the reclamation work undertaken for the project is illegal and will alter coastal biodiversity and traditional ecological practices. The High Court, in its order, noted a “serious lacuna” in the decision-making process of the project and added that it lacked proper scientific study.
In April, the High Court had restrained the civic body from working on the project. The civic body then filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. In May, the top court allowed the corporation to carry out existing work but prohibited it from starting anything.