The court will take up the petitions for further hearing on April 23.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to stop work and maintain the status quo in connection with the reclamation in south Mumbai for the construction of the Coastal Road.
A division bench of the Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Nitin Jamdar asked the authorities not to carry out any further work after the petitioner’s counsel Janak Dwarkadas and Gayatri Singh brought to the court’s notice that despite last week’s court order restraining the authorities from further reclaiming the portion at Marine Drive, Breach Candy, Nepean Sea Road near Tata Garden and Worli, the work was been carried on.
While issuing direction to maintain status quo the bench said that it would pass a detailed order within two days. The bench observed that it was brought to the court’s notice that with each passing day further damage was being caused to the marine life and livelihood of fisher-folk living along the coast with ongoing reclamation and dumping of debris. The damage to biodiversity would cause irreversible problems for the society, it said.
Almost 34 kilometre coastal road will connect Marine Lines in South Mumbai to Kandivali in the north of city. Last year, the work had begun on the 10 kilometre stretch from Marine Lines to the Bandra-Worli Sea link at Worli.
Senior advocate Shreehari Aney, on behalf of the BMC, argued that an environment clearance (EC) was obtained for the northern part of the project, while it was not required for the southern end. He also said that a committee was formed to find out solution for the city’s congested roads, which found this to be the only alternate solution.
Advocate Milind Sathe informed the court that it takes six hours to commute between Borivali and South Mumbai. The city is dying due to incre-asing traffic burden and the state government is trying to ease this burden.
The bench, however, observed that it was trying to ensure that no further damage was caused to the environment and coastline in the city.