Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding disposal of debris on the salt pans and encroachment, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 15/03/2023

  • 15/03/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Madhura Rajesh Tawde Vs State of Maharashtra dated 15/03/2023.

Grievance in the application is for remedial action against damage to the environment in Mumbai city near coastal road at Wadala to Mahul, close to Chembur to CST freeway by adding debris on the salt pan, making island out of it and encroaching the same, affecting the mangroves which are important for Mumbai city. Unauthorized structures are against CRZ Regulations issued under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 said the applicant, Madhura Rajesh Tawde.

NGT, December 15, 2021 sought a factual and action taken report from a six member joint committee.

The matter was last considered on September 28, 2022 in the light of a report of the joint committee, September 26, 2022.

Finding serious violations of CRZ Notification, 2019 by illegal encroachments, dumping of construction and demolition waste and damage to the mangroves, the tribunal directed the State Coastal Zone Management Authority to prepare a time bound action plan for remedial action to remove unauthorized dumping of waste, encroachments and restoration of mangroves. Action was also directed to be taken by Salt Commissioner, Mumbai to be overseen by the Principal Secretary, Environment Department, Maharashtra and National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA).

The NGT, March 15, 2023 said that from the status report filed by the joint committee, February 13, 2023, it is clear that even after expiry of more than five months, action taken is not adequate. C&D waste has not been removed and illegal encroachments still remain. There appears to be a lack of interdepartmental coordination and failure at a higher level to remedy the situation by adopting a stringent approach. In this process, damage to the coast and environment has continued, the court said.

The ACS, Environment has assured the tribunal that within three months the remedial measures will be completed. This will include removing all encroachments, lifting of C&D waste for its appropriate processing and revival of damaged mangrove plantation. The compliance report should be filed before June 30, 2023.