In a move that will not only provide convenient and environmentally friendly travel for residents of the Boisar industrial zone, but will also promote tourism in and around Kelwa Beach, the Bombay High Court has authorized the construction of a passenger jetty near the existing fishermen jetty at Kelwa in Palghar. Kelwa Beach is Maharashtra’s largest fishing area and has several temples and forts. The court assured that no mangroves will be destroyed here for the pier.
In a 55-page judgment dated October 29, the HC authorized the construction of passenger jetties at Kelwa in Palghar, Kharekuran and a Ro-Ro jetty in Kharwadashri, adjoining mangroves in the environmentally sensitive area.
While authorizing construction near ecologically sensitive areas including mangroves, the court observed that “CRZ-I (Coastal Zone Regulation) cannot be interpreted as an area that freezes all activity… The installation of a jetty is not clearly not considered a prohibited activity but a regulated activity.
The judges said: “In interpreting the 2011 CRZ notification, it should be remembered that the object of the notification is not only to protect the environment, but also to promote development in a sustainable manner, which is also an important objective to be achieved by regulating activities in coastal areas.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Judge Girish Kulkarni heard three petitions filed by the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), a statutory council charged with developing, conserving, regulating, facilitating and administering the boundaries of non-major ports on the coast of Maharashtra, requesting permission to construct two passenger jetties and a Ro-Ro jetty.
The MMB filed the petitions because an earlier HC order had imposed a total freeze on the destruction of any mangrove in the state and all construction activity without specific HC authorization. The petition was filed by the Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG), seeking to protect mangroves.
MMB’s lawyer Saket Mone argued that the passenger jetty would be built near the approved fishermen’s jetty in Kelwa to provide an additional, convenient and environmentally friendly travel option for people staying in areas along the area. industrial plant in Boisar. it would also stimulate tourism and economic activity in the region by increasing the influx of tourists in and around Kelwa Beach.
In addition, the proposed project is based on the principles of public utility, sustainable development and environmentally friendly transport systems, aimed at benefiting citizens and is not based on any private or commercial gain.
In addition, the Council has obtained all necessary approvals from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) and the National Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).
BEAG did not oppose the MMB petitions, but argued that it was the government’s duty to undertake sustainable development in which a balance is maintained between environmental protection and development activities. The HC has asked the authority to submit a commitment within two weeks of complying with the conditions.
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Posted on: Wednesday 03 November 2021, 13:15 IST