AFTER issuing a stern warning to the National Highway Authority of India not to downsize any agreed-upon wildlife-mitigation measures on National Highway-7 in its earlier hearings, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court Thursday told the NHAI to strictly implement the previously decided measures along NH-6 too.
The bench comprising Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Vinay Deshpande sought to nullify the NHAI’s contention in its affidavit filed Thursday that it would construct only three flyovers in the Nagzira-Navgaon wildlife corridor of NH-6.
NHAI’s contention was not in tune with the High Court’s impression about the previously agreed-upon “four structures”, which also finds mention in the minutes of the August 18, 2015 meeting of the National
Board for Wildlife (NBWL) about the decision to construct four flyovers.
The NHAI contended it was a “printing error” and that it should be understood as “four stretches”. Besides, it contended that it had already constructed a four-lane road on one of the four stretches and, hence, has to now build three flyovers only.
The bench told NHAI lawyer S M Ghare that his client must build all four flyovers – two 700m and two 750m – as decided earlier and that it would not accept any deficiency in that regard. Ghare tried to plead with the bench that NHAI would go back to the Wildlife Institute of India, which had suggested the mitigation measures and get its okay for three flyovers only.
The bench reiterated that it won’t accept anything less for wildlife mitigation along NH-6. The bench then directed NHAI to come up with a fresh affidavit after four weeks to the effect that it would construct all four flyovers “as directed by the WII and the National Tiger Conservation Authority.”
Earlier, the bench had told NHAI not to reduce in any way the mitigation measures suggested by WII for NH-7.