Mumbai: The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has asked the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) to look into complaints arising about a sea wall being constructed on Aksa Beach.
Environment activists had approached the authorities in the state as well as in the Union government, bringing to their notice blatant violations as a wall is being constructed in the middle of the beach. The area of construction falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone 1, where no permanent structure is permitted to be built.
NatConnect Foundation's ultimatum
A non-profit organisation NatConnect Foundation had sent an ultimatum to the State government and MCZMA that it would be compelled to move the National Green Tribunal (NGT) if no action is initiated within the next three days.
While bringing the issue to the notice of Member Secretary MCZMA, a Central government official has requested to examine the nature and extent of alleged representations in respect of the sea wall.
In January 2017, the MCZMA itself rejected a proposal from the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) for a gabion wall at the beach, stating that it may be eroded due to solid construction.
Now, MCZMA, in another meeting, gave its nod for a parapet wall at the beach without any specifications, which is in contradiction to its own decision.
Director NatConnect B N Kumar said, “We have been drawing the attention of the government and MCZMA to these violations, yet the construction is allowed to be nearly completed.”
Activists point out that the construction by the MMB also violates a ruling of April 2022 by a special bench of the NGT banning sea walls or groynes along the coasts.
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