CRZ clearance granted to the project in 2013 was recently suspended on grounds that MoEF had not studied impact on creek marine life
Mumbai : After yet another setback in the much-delayed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link where the National Green Tribunal suspended the environment clearance for the project, the MMRDA is planning to contest this decision and appeal against it in the Supreme Court. The project, which was mooted in the 1980s, has been facing delays ever since and has remained on the drawing board.
Recently, the NGT suspended the CRZ clearance for the MTHL project which was granted to the MMRDA in 2013. The NGT would revoke the clearance if the MMRDA does not acquire fresh clearance within the next six months. “We are in touch with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and we will see how we can challenge the order in the Supreme Court,” said UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.
According to NGT, the MoEF hasn’t studied the impact of the project on the marine life in the creek over which it has been proposed. “They [NGT] have said that the MoEF should look at it again and independently study the impact. The NGT has said MoEF has not applied their mind properly; they said the submissions were not made properly and sufficient data was not available,” said another official.
Sources said that the state government is very upset that NGT has taken such a step and senior BJP ministers have already spoken to union environment minister Prakash Javadekar to intervene in the matter. “The leadership has spoken to Javadekar mainly because the NGT has made MoEF accountable for the lapses in conducting the assessment and giving the CRZ clearance,” added the official.
Meanwhile, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) — the agency that is funding the project — has already carrying out its independent environment impact assessment. JICA will be funding 80% of the project cost which comes to Rs 8,800 crore. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s recent Japan tour — where he met senior JICA officials — sealed the deal for the state.
MTHL is a 22-km-long cable stayed bridge that would link Sewri on the island city of Mumbai and Nhava on the hinterland. Once completed, it would be the second longest sea link in the world after the 42-km long sea bridge between Qingdao to Huangdao in China.