Shivaji Memorial: HC to Centre, MCZMA – File replies on alleged unlawful clearances

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre and the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) to file their responses on the allegations that several clearances for the proposed Shivaji memorial off the Arabian Sea were given unlawfully.

A bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and Sarang Kotwal directed the authorities to address, in their respective affidavits, all the legal issues raised in a bunch of public interest litigations (PIL) filed in the court challenging the construction of the memorial. The directions came after senior advocate Aspi Chinoy, representing some of the petitioners, informed the court that the MCZMA, the Centre and the state government had granted several approvals to the project in violation of the coastal zone norms.

Chinoy told the bench that the state and the MCZMA had granted approvals to the project without conducting a public hearing. Citizens can raise objections and give suggestions on a public project of the aforementioned nature at a public hearing and it is mandatory as per environmental and coastal zone norms, Chinoy said. As per the plea, the Maharashtra government issued a notification in February 2015 stating that there was no requirement for a public hearing for the Shivaji Memorial project.

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