Navi Mumbai: CIDCO Gets Nod To Axe Over 3,728 Trees For Ulwe Coastal Road

Navi Mumbai: CIDCO Gets Nod To Axe Over 3,728 Trees For Ulwe Coastal Road

In a detailed order copy, the Court has clarified that the permission is subject to Cidco complying with "all terms and conditions imposed by the statutory authorities".

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, January 18, 2024, 12:11 PM IST
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Representative Image | File

Observing that it's a project of public importance, the Bombay High Court has permitted the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) to cut 3728 trees for the construction of the 5.8 km Ulwe coastal road that will connect the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) to Navi Mumbai and the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport.

"It is not in dispute that the project in question is of great public utility, and the object is to facilitate the provision of modes of smooth travel through the coastal road as indicated. This aspect is not in dispute," said a bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and Jitendra Jain on Tuesday. 

CIDCO to comply with 'all terms & conditions'

In a detailed order copy, which was made public on Wednesday, the Court has clarified that the permission is subject to Cidco complying with "all terms and conditions imposed by the statutory authorities".  

The HC was hearing a plea filed by Cidco seeking permission to remove 3,728 trees/plants for undertaking the project. It had sought permission to fell trees to enable it to start the construction of the coastal road "from Amra Marg (in Navi Mumbai) to MTHL junction including airport link road at Navi Mumbai." It claimed it had received necessary clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), the forest authority and the Department of Fisheries. 

Cidco had to seek high court permission as mandated by a September 2018 order to obtain the Court's permission for projects falling within a 50-metre buffer zone around mangroves.

CIDCO is willing to comply with all the conditions

The development authority filed an affidavit before the HC stating that it is willing to comply with all the conditions imposed by the authorities. While granting clearance. It was asked to plant three times the number of trees being felled as a compensatory plantation. It has hence agreed to plant 11184 trees. 

The bench noted that the Indian Institute of Technology also submitted its report on the project in September 2023 and concluded that "the proposed (selected) alignment was appropriate to take care of the uninterrupted tidal flow and minimum destruction of mangroves".  

"From the material above, therefore, we find that all statutory authorities have approved of the work to be done under the project of constructing a coastal road from Amra Marg to MTHL junction, including Airport Link at Navi Mumbai," the bench said while granting permission to fell trees. 

However, it has clarified that Cidco shall "scrupulously comply with all the terms and conditions imposed in the statutory approvals granted by the competent authorities".

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