The petitioner told the court that the state-run corporation is carrying on construction sans requisite permissions.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has directed the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) not to carry out any construction activity related to the Bandra-Versova sea link for two weeks at Juhu-Koliwada beach.
The court has also directed the Santacruz police station to visit the place every day to ensure that no work is carried out at the beach.
The court headed by Chief Justice Naresh Patil was hearing a petition filed by activist Zoru Bathena, who alleged that MSRDC is violating environmental and CRZ norms while carrying out the work. He also brought to the court’s notice that due to leveling work at Juhu beach, mangroves are not getting seawater and will die in a few days.
The plea claimed that the MSRDC is constructing a casting yard at Juhu-Koliwada beach, and in the process, illegally reclaiming a portion of the beach.
The petitioner told the court that the state-run corporation is carrying on construction sans requisite permissions. A casting yard is a confined place where concrete structures like segments, parapets, girders, beams and boundary wall panels are manufactured.
Bathena’s counsel, advocate Gayatri Singh, told the bench that in the process, the MSRDC is dumping mud on the beach, thereby not only reclaiming the area but also restricting sea water supply to the mangroves in the area. Around 7.9 hectare of beach area is being affected due to the casting yard work, the petitioner said.
The MSRDC, however, denied the allegations and said it has all the requisite permissions for the work. The MSRDC counsel argued that the forest officer has inspected the area and filed his report where he has stated that there is no violation. The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority also informed the court that no permission has been taken from them before starting work on the casting yard.
The bench however directed the authorities to stop all work for two weeks and directed the Santa Cruz Police Station to ensure that the court's order is not violated.