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Bombay High Court seeks response from Centre, Maha govt on plea against Navi Mumbai airport

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today issued notice to the Centre and the Maharashtra government and sought their response to a PIL challenging the environment clearance granted for construction of the Navi Mumbai International Airport. The PIL, filed by city-based NGO Vanshakti, claims that the state government has failed to protect ecologically-fragile areas and has started work at the proposed airport.

The petition sought the high court’s direction to quash and set aside the environment clearance given by the Union Environment and Forest Ministry in November 2010 and as way of interim relief sought direction to the government to stop work at the site for the proposed airport. A division bench of justices A S Oka and P N Deshmukh issued notice to the MoEF and the Maharashtra government and posted the petition for hearing after two weeks.

The petition claims that the government has not fully complied with the conditions imposed by the MoEF while granting environment clearance. “The environment clearance granted by the union ministry is illegal, bad in law and is granted without application of mind as construction of the airport cannot be done on mangroves and water bodies,” the petition contended.