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Port Trust ‘callous,’ Haji Bunder area facing environmental threat: Sanyal

Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha were hearing a PIL filed by Sanyal and Vice Admiral (retd) I C Rao

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
September 26, 2014 4:31:42 am
Meera Sanyal Meera Sanyal

AAM Aadmi Party activist Meera Sanyal on Thursday told the Bombay High Court (HC) that the city’s Haji Bunder port area spread across 25 acres was facing environmental and health threats due to negligence on the part of Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) while handling coal.

Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha were hearing a PIL filed by Sanyal and Vice Admiral (retd) I C Rao, former ASD Mumbai Dockyard. The PIL contended that a population of 5 lakh in the area was affected due to the activity. “Handling coal requires extreme caution as it causes severe land, air, water pollution and several respiratory diseases,” the PIL said. The petitioners said MbPT was being ‘callous’ in handling coal.

To support their stand, the petitioners said the MbPT had recorded its statement with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). “The choice of the jetty at Haji Bunder is in appropriate as it is surrounded by the Sewri mud flats and is unsuitable for berthing the coal barges,” contended the petitioners. The HC was also told that the MbPT did not abide by the Consent to Operate terms dated October 14, 2013 laid down by the MPCB. Sanyal and Rao urged the HC to restrain MbPT from extending the terms from September 30, the date till which MbPT was allowed to carry out the activity. Additional Government Pleader Milind More argued that the PIL be heard by the MPCB instead. The judges said the petitioners’ contentions could be treated as a representation before the MPCB and disposed of it.

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