HC allows removal of 3,043 mangroves for western freight corridor | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC allows removal of 3,043 mangroves for western freight corridor

Mar 06, 2024 07:02 AM IST

Bombay HC permits DFCCI to remove 3,043 mangroves for western freight corridor, citing national interest. DFCCI paid ₹7.39 crore for compensatory plantation.

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has allowed the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCI), a central government undertaking, to remove an additional 3,043 mangroves for the western dedicated freight corridor connecting the Jawaharlal Nehru port to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh. Permission for removal of 543 mangroves had been granted by the court in March 2015.

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The division bench of justices AS Chandurkar and Jitendra Jain on February 23 allowed the plea filed by DFCCI, saying it was “in the larger national and public interest” to accord permission to remove the mangroves. The bench took into consideration that DFCCI had already paid 7.39 crore towards compensatory mangrove plantation and had undertaken to comply with all conditions specified in various approvals.

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DFCCI was set up by the central government for developing the eastern and western dedicated freight corridors spanning 2,843 km at a cost of 91,859 crore. In 2022, it approached the high court seeking permission to remove 3,403 mangroves for the western freight corridor as the court had, in September 2018, ruled that no non-forest activity would be permitted in mangrove areas and the 50-metre buffer zone around them without its prior approval.

The corporation informed the court that the western freight corridor, comprising a dedicated double railway line from JNPT to Dadri, would facilitate economic growth and generate employment as well as augment freight traffic and ease traffic congestion.

On September 5, 2023, the ministry of environment, forests and climate change granted final approval to the corporation’s proposal for removal of the 3,403 mangroves on condition that the structures at all water flow points in CRZ-I would be constructed on stilts without affecting mangroves or flow conditions.

The court allowed DFCCI to remove the mangroves on condition that it would comply with all conditions laid down in various approvals granted by the ministry of environment, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority and the chief conservator of forests.

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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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