Bombay High Court allows widening of bridges over Mithi River

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted permission to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to carry out the widening of the bridges over the Mithi River, which are Vaitarana bridge, Mahim Causeway bridge and Tansa pipeline bridge as part of the development project.

The High Court gave its nod to the BMC to avoid the July 2005 deluge-like situation during monsoons, and also curb air and water-borne diseases due to accumulation of sewage water in the river.

The Bombay Environment Action Group, an NGO has opposed this project sighting that the project would destroy the existing mangroves, which in return would damage the environment.

The Court’s permissions were necessary in light of the October 2005 HC order banning construction and dumping activities on mangrove plots or in the buffer zone.

A division bench of Justice Vidyasagar Kanade and Justice Nutan Sardessai said the permissions had to be given in public interest. They said that if water pipelines are damaged, the entire city would be left without drinking water and it would lead to chaos.

Senior advocate S U Kamdar and advocate Trupti Puranik, counsels for BMC, told the bench that the widening and work on the bridge was necessary at Mahim Causeway. The overflow discharge of Mithi has narrowed down, especially near Mahim. Further, the floodwater almost touches the pipeline and gets stagnated, that could result in a rise in diseases.

After hearing the arguments, the bench said, “If, God forbid, something goes wrong and the two main water pipelines are damaged, the entire city of Mumbai would be without drinking water.”

The court said that in public interest it is allowing the BMC to carry out their work.

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