HC allows Maharashtra Maritime Board to construct passenger jetty in Thane | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC allows Maharashtra Maritime Board to construct passenger jetty in Thane

Feb 07, 2024 07:24 AM IST

The Bombay High Court has given permission to the Maharashtra Maritime Board to construct a passenger jetty in Thane as part of an inland water transport project. The project, which aims to connect Thane, Kalyan, and Vasai, will be developed in the mangrove buffer zone and does not require the destruction of mangroves. The Board will need to obtain necessary statutory permissions for certain allied facilities.

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday allowed the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) to construct a passenger jetty at Kalher, Thane, as part of an inland water transport project that seeks to connect Thane, Kalyan and Vasai.

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A division bench of justice AS Chandurkar and justice Jitendra Jain granted permission for the construction of the passenger jetty, declared as ‘National Waterway 53’, primarily as the project is being executed in the larger public interest and did not require the destruction of mangroves.

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The Board was required to approach the high court, as the court in September 2018 ordered that no non-forest activity should be permitted in mangrove areas and the 50-meter buffer zone around mangroves without prior approval from the court. Though no mangroves are required to be cut for the project, it is being developed in the mangrove buffer zone in Thane Creek.

In its petition, the Board stated that the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has considered the water transport project in its meeting held on December 11, 2022, and under the Authority’s recommendations, the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has granted Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for the passenger jetty, spread over 4,750 sq metres.

Besides, the Mangroves Conservation Unit of the forest department had given its no-objection certificate for the passenger jetty since “there were no mangroves on the site and the area was not notified as a reserved forest.”

Advocate Saket Mone, who represented the petitioner authority, submitted that the project does not require the cutting of any mangroves and the construction of a jetty and allied activities were not prohibited under the January 2011 CRZ Notification and, therefore, the court should grant permission for the project.

The bench accepted the contention and allowed MBB to develop the passenger jetty at Kalher. The court, however, asked it to first obtain necessary statutory permissions for the construction of the ticket counter, security cabin, and mooring facility at the site, as these allied facilities were not mentioned in the application filed by the Board while seeking statutory permissions, like the CRZ clearance and forest permission, etc.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Special Correspondent. I have spent over a decade covering courts in Mumbai, primarily the Bombay High Court, and including several important trials like trial of 120 accused in March 1993 Mumbai bombings, 26/11 case - trial of Ajmal Kasab.

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