BMC violating court orders on coastal road project, say Mumbai activists

Updated: Apr 14, 2019, 15:18 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Despite the Bombay High Court prohibiting further reclamation at Worli until further order, residents say that work is still underway

A video grab of the reclamation work at the Tata Garden seafront
A video grab of the reclamation work at the Tata Garden seafront

City activists, who have been opposing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's Rs 14,000 crore coastal road project, have alleged that civic authorities are carrying out work despite a court order restraining them from doing so until April 23.

Hearing two separate petitions - one against the cutting of trees at Tata Garden, Bhulabhai Desai Road, and the other about the lack of environmental clearance for the project - the Bombay High Court ordered the civic body "to not venture further into the coastal road with reclamation work". The petitions were filed by NGOs and activists, who think that the project will have an adverse impact on the environment and marine life.

Residents have now alleged that the civic body is blatantly violating court orders by continuing with illegal reclamation. Breach Candy resident Namrita Mehta told mid-day that she saw a dumper entering the coastal road site between 11 pm and 12 am on Friday night. "Post the verbal orders from the court to the BMC, we thought that the work would stop, but last night when I was near Worli Dairy, I saw a dumper full of debris entering the coastal road site. The debris was then dumped into the sea This is a clear violation of the court orders," said Mehta The BMC is constructing the 29.2- km long coastal road project in a bid to solve commuting problems. The big ticket project has been facing criticism from many residents, members from the Koli community and even wildlife lovers.

On Saturday, environmentalist and editor of Sanctuary Asia, Bittu Sahgal, posted a video of the work and tweeted, "No respect for court orders and less for the environment. This coastal road landfill work behind the Tata Garden on Warden Road is illegal and ill-advised. Earthquake damage risk on reclaimed land is greater. Buildings have collapsed in Indonesia for this reason."

Requesting anonymity, a BMC official said, "All allegations made by the residents and activists related to the reclamation are baseless, and all I can say is that we have not violated any court orders."

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