OBSERVING that an order passed by the National Green Tribunal had ‘overridden’ its previous order and “cannot continue for a single day”, the Bombay High Court Thursday stayed the NGT order that restricted any reclamation and land filling in Kanjurmarg dumping ground.
A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and A K Menon also remarked that NGOs “should somewhere be stopped” as “they keep creating hurdles”. The court was acting on a petition filed by a private agency appointed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to develop and maintain the Kanjurmarg landfill. The agency sought setting aside of NGT’s order that has restricted activity in the landfill.
“Such an order cannot continue even for a single day,” said the bench, observing, “The (NGT) order directly overrides the order passed by the division bench of this court.”
The tribunal in its orders dated January 15 and February 6 and 12 restricted the agency from carrying out any reclamation and land filling being done at the site, till the State Level Expert Appraisal Committee approves a proposal by the BMC for change in technology for waste management. The agency was also ordered to demolish the wall constructed around the landfill, which allegedly blocked tidal water from mangroves in the landfill.
According to the petitioner, the HC had on January 8 allowed the agency to carry out landfilling in the non-CRZ areas of the landfill.
NGO Vanashakti approached the NGT appealing against the Ministry of Environment Forests (MoEF) order on January 15, following which the NGT passed an ex-parte order restraining any activity. The NGO had again moved the High Court challenging a few directions in the MoEF order.
On Thursday, the High Court expressed ire and said, “NGOs should be stopped somewhere. They keep creating hurdles (during litigations) as if they have the sole right.”
Pointing out that the NGT order was going to “create havoc”, the court posted the next date of hearing on June 10.