The Bombay High Court (HC) has allowed the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) to cut mangroves spread over an area of 0.6266 hectare for the construction of a bypass bridge which will connect Uran and Panvel.
The court has asked the concerned CIDCO officers to provide an undertaking, within a week, of strictly complying with conditions laid down in permissions granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for the same.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni, on Wednesday, passed an order with regard to the CIDCO’s plea.
In its plea, the body had stated that it is undertaking the construction of an 11-metre-wide bypass bridge, starting from Hotel Anandi to Uran city in Dronagiri, Navi Mumbai.
It further stated that the bridge is to be constructed in an area measuring 1.0287 hectare, of which 0.6266 hectare consists of mangrove trees or forest land.
The planning authority, through advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, submitted that the reliefs sought to cut the mangrove trees were in “public interest”. The CIDCO contended that the project is a part of an important, ongoing project concerning the traffic congestion in Mumbai and the already developed area of Navi Mumbai, especially along JNPT Road and in Dronagiri.
The plea stated, “To effectively implement this project, the bypass bridge at Uran was proposed for the easing of traffic passing through the congested Uran city, as due to the non-availability of such roads, there were continuous road blocks, traffic jams, accidents and other issues faced by locals. The construction of the bypass bridge will also help in reducing the pollution level in the local area.”
After hearing submissions, the bench granted permission to cut and/or remove mangroves and noted, “We are of the opinion that an exception is required to be made in favour of the petitioner to remove the mangroves as prayed for, and subject matter of the conditions as granted by the respondent authorities, as the work in question is for public good and in public interest.”
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