OBSERVING THAT the BMC project to set up a water pumping station cannot be compared to a building project, the Bombay High Court Tuesday allowed the civic body to relocate mangroves to a creek area.
The civic body had moved the HC seeking permission to relocate 156 mangrove trees to set up the Gazdarbund pumping station at Khardanda. It informed Justice V M Kanade and Justice Revati Mohite-Dere that 90 per cent of the project was complete and relocation of the mangroves was proving to be a hurdle now.
A city-based NGO opposed the BMC’s plea saying the latter should have taken the nod of all departments concerned before moving the HC. For relocating mangroves, the NGO pointed out, the forest department’s permission was mandatory but it was not obtained.
The BMC clarified that it had sought permission but the department was yet to decide on it. Allowing it to carry on with the project, the HC directed the BMC to get the nod from the forest department. “The present project cannot be equated as projects undertaken by builders,” said the judges, adding that such projects were in the “interest of public at large”.The pumping station is a part of the much-delayed Brihanmumbai Storm Water Drain (Brimstowad) project. Under the Rs 3,535-crore Brimstowad project, the BMC has decided to construct pumping stations at eight places — Haji Ali, Irla (Juhu), Lovegrove and Cleveland Bunder (both at Worli), Britannia (Reay Road), Gazdarbund (Khardanda), Mogra (Santacruz) and Mahul. However, so far only the Haji Ali and Irla pumping stations are operational.
BMC Deputy Municipal Commissioner Laxman Vhatkar said the work could now be completed this year before the onset of monsoon.