Bombay High Court red flags damage to green world by present generation

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Tuesday said the environmental damage caused by the present generation is going to severely impact the future generations and lead to physical deformities among people. A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N M Jamdar made the observation while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by activists, residents and fisher folk community from the city challenging the Mumbai civic body BMC's Rs 14,000-crore coastal road project. Chief Justice Nandrajog, during the arguments over the project, drew a caricature on a sheet of paper depicting how a human being would look in the future. The human caricature had long fingers, nose and a big head but shrunken hands, legs and body. "With the damage to environment being caused presently this is how our future generations will look," Chief Justice Nandrajog said, passing the paper with the caricature to the advocates arguing the matter. "Humans will be only sitting in front of computers due to which we will have long fingers and a long nose because we will keep smelling the toxic gas. "The body will shrink because of no physical activity," the court said. The bench will continue hearing arguments on the petitions Wednesday. In April this year, the high court had prohibited the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from carrying out any further work on the project, prompting the civic body to appeal against the order in the Supreme Court. Last month, the apex court permitted the BMC to carry out existing work, but barred it from undertaking any new task related to the 29.2-km-long project that proposes to connect South Mumbai with north western suburbs of the metropolis. The apex court had directed the HC to take up the petitions for final hearing. The petitioners have challenged the reclamation and construction work for the venture on the ground that the same will result in damage to the coastline and destroy major marine life along the coast and livelihoods of the fisherfolk. The petitions claimed the project will irreversibly damage the coastal ecosystem and deprive the fishing community in the city of its key source of livelihood. Early this month, the BMC had told the high court the project is in larger public interest and adequate compensation will be given to fishermen affected by it. "The project is being undertaken in larger public interest as a solution to the ever-increasing traffic congestion and burden on the existing infrastructure," it had said in affidavits submitted in the high court in response to the petitions opposing the ambitious venture.

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