Mumbai (Metro Rail News): The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday allowed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to go for cutting 357 mangroves for the construction of Metro piers at Sewri and Bhakti Park station, as part of under-construction Metro Line-4 that connects Wadala in eastern suburbs to Kasarwadavli on Ghodbunder road in adjoining Thane district. The court also imposed few conditions so that environmental loss is compensated.
The two-member HC bench, comprising Justice SJ Kathawalla and Riyaz Chagla, allowed MMRDA to cut 357 mangroves primarily after it observed that development of Metro Line-4 has an immense public importance in terms of public transport. The bench has also directed Metro authoity to comply with the conditions imposed by authorities while granting permission.
The conditions include compensatory afforestation over a hectare of degraded mangrove forest at Gorai, where the MMRDA will need to plant 4,444 mangroves saplings with developing a nursery cost and fully fund it for a duration of ten years. It also directed the MMRDA to construct a temporary road for carrying out the construction work.
Earlier, the court directives had prohibited development work in mangrove forests and a 50-metre buffer zone around mangroves until the court found the importance of the work keeping in mind the benefits it would provide to the people.