Expressing concern over the fate of the flamingo population in Thane Creek Sanctuary if a solid waste landfill comes up in its proximity, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the Bombay High Court to obtain the report of an expert body before it decides a pending petition which has challenged expansion of the landfill project.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant asked the high court to dispose of the matter preferably within three months, and added, “We also consider it appropriate if the High Court obtain the report of an expert body like Bombay Natural History Society and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute before taking a final decision.”
Trying to strike a balance between the need for a waste treatment plant and environmental questions, the CJI said, “We are equally concerned about the flamingos. They will disappear from there. Once they go away, they will never return. No one has control over nature.”
The court was hearing an appeal by NGO Vanasakthi against an interim order of the high court, lifting the stay on enforcement of environmental clearance for expansion of the Kanjurmarg landfill.
Appearing for the appellant, Senior Advocate Anita Shenoy said the land that was being sought for expanding the project fell in the Coastal Regulation Zone of the Thane Creek which was host to thousands of flamingos and that it would affect them.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi sought to oppose this and said the facility had been in operation since 2009 and no bird had been affected so far.
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