No `non-forest activity` in mangrove areas: Bombay HC

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 18:49

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said
that no non-forest activity can be permitted in the areas
where mangroves grow, even if such areas have not been yet
declared as `protected forests`.

In October 2005, the high court, responding to PIL
filed by Bombay Environmental Action Group, banned destruction
of mangroves in the whole of Maharashtra.

BEAG today pointed out during a hearing that though
the order contemplated declaration of all mangrove areas as
protected forests, such declaration has been made only in
respect of 55 sq km of area in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Satellite mapping was done to identify mangrove areas,
but 230 sq km of mangrove patches along the coastline are yet
to be notified as protected forests, it said.

Division Bench of Justices J N Patel and B R Gavai
then stated that in any case, even if a mangrove area hasn`t
been notified, "no non-forest activity shall be permitted
throughout the state".

The court granted some relief to Tata Power and a few
other interveners whose projects in the mangrove regions are
stuck because of 2005 freeze on mangrove cutting.

These companies or authorities can approach "competent
authorities" for seeking a go-ahead to projects," the court
said.

But, the court added, even after getting permission of
the competent authority to carry on work in mangrove areas,
the High Court`s sanction would be necessary.

Tata Power wants permission to erect transmission
towers for supplying power to Mumbai from its Trombay Thermal
Power Station.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 18:49

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