Coastal road project: Activists file intervention application in SC, seek stay on reclamation work

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“It is submitted that the reclamation work that has been permitted by this Hon’ble Court [SC] by the order dated 17th December 2019, will cause irreparable harm to the fragile ecology of the intertidal area of the coast,” the application states.An intervention application seeking a stay on the ongoing reclamation work for the coastal road project has been filed before the Supreme Court. The work on the project, the application states, was causing irreversible damage to the ecology of the intertidal coastal area and livelihoods of fisherfolk at Worli Koliwada. The court will hear the application on February 25.

Activist Shweta Wagh, a petitioner against coastal road project, said the intervention application was filed on behalf of the fishermen seeking vacation of the stay on the Mumbai High Court order granted by the Supreme Court.

The application, Wagh said, has been filed on the ground that the reclamation work is being carried out in violation of the conditions of the CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) clearance granted on May 11, 2017, for the project. While the CRZ clearance for the project states that no fishing activity should be hampered, the reclamation work has badly affected the fishing in Worli area, the activist said.

Activists have also claimed that while the project activity should not damage coastal ecology of the area, including the flora and fauna, but the clause of CRZ clearance was being violated.

“It is submitted that the reclamation work that has been permitted by this Hon’ble Court [SC] by the order dated 17th December 2019, will cause irreparable harm to the fragile ecology of the intertidal area of the coast,” the application states.

Work on the 9.98 km proposed coastal road project from Princess Street to Worli was stayed by the Mumbai High Court in June 2019, however, after the BMC and the contractors approached the Supreme Court, the stay was lifted by the top court in December 2019.