The Supreme Court on Wednesday indicated it may not see a problem with the reclamation of 90 hectares for the Coastal Road Project in Mumbai, but the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) would have to take CRZ clearance for reclaiming anything more.
“We see no problem with the 90 hectare, but anything above 90, you will have to get CRZ clearance… Stick to 90,” Chief Justice S.A. Bobde orally suggested to BMC counsel Darius Khambata. He in turn informed the court that his client has already made an application before the Maharashtra CRZ.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing respondents led by Worli Koliwada Nakhwa Matsya Vyavasay Sakhari Society, however said the increase in land reclamation from 90 hectares to 111.5 hectares has transformed the project. “It is a completely different project now… They have completely altered it,” Mr. Divan argued. He sought a blanket stay of the project. The Bench reserved orders on the issue.
The court is hearing an appeal filed by the BMC against a Bombay High Court decision stopping work on the project till it gets a proper environmental clearance.
On December 17 last year, the apex court found that the high court order “needs to be stayed having regard to the factor of balance of convenience; prima facie case and irreparable damage/injury”. The apex court had said the petitioners were “free to reclaim the land, build the road thereon and secure the road. They shall however not carry out any other development work until further orders of this court”.
The various local societies have contended that “the project is not just about a road. It touches on 90 hectares. The road is only a tiny stretch but large areas of land would be reclaimed”.