Maharashtra maritime board challenges freeze on construction in buffer zone 

Maharashtra maritime board challenges freeze on construction in buffer zone 

The Special Leave Petition (SLP) was filed by the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) in the SC in 2020 seeking permission for construction in the buffer zone.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, April 24, 2023, 11:43 PM IST
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Maharashtra maritime board challenges freeze on construction in buffer zone  | representative pic

The Maharashtra government has approached the Supreme Court seeking relaxation of a 201& Bombay High Court judgment which imposed a complete freeze on destruction of mangroves in the state and construction of any nature within the 50 metre buffer zone. 

The Special Leave Petition (SLP) was filed by the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) in the SC in 2020 seeking permission for construction in the buffer zone. 

State: MMB did not consult it before filling the SLP

However, the state environment and climate change department, which along with the forest department is in charge of implementing the HC order, claimed that the MMB did not consult it before filling the SLP. Despite this, the Maharashtra government has been shown as the first petitioner before the apex court. 

In December 2021, the environment ministry had raised an objection to it being named as petitioner. It sent a letter to the SC advocate on record raising its objections. 

It states that the environment and climate change department has not initiated the SLP challenging the September 17, 2018, order. It learnt about the SLP has been filed on directions of the MMB through the law and judiciary department. It is quite surprising and irrational that the environment and climate change department was not even consulted before filing the said SLP, the letter read. 

It has asked the Supreme Court advocate to remove the State of Maharashtra through secretary, environment department, as Petitioner from the SLP. 

Initially, in 2005, the HC had banned construction within 50 m of mangroves on a petition by the Bombay Environment Action Group (BEAG). In 2018, the court said Destruction of mangroves offended the fundamental rights of the citizens and hence it was a mandatory duty of the state and its agencies to protect and preserve the mangroves. It also said that all mangroves in the state are to be declared as protected or reserved forests, including land belonging to government agencies.

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