`Thane`s Kalu dam project should be halted`
Mumbai: A Forest Advisory Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) informed the Bombay High Court that the Maharashtra government`s project to construct a dam on river Kalu in neighbouring Thane district should be stopped.
"The project area falls under an ecologically sensitive zone of the Western Ghats and also involves rehabilitation of villagers. There are certain short comings in the project," the committee said in its report submitted to the MoEF and High Court.
The committee was set up following High Court directions during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by Shramik Mukhti Sanghatana, an NGO, alleging that the dam was being built without required permissions from the forest department. The dam is expected to improve the water supply of areas such as Mira-Bhayander and Navi Mumbai.
The court had on the last hearing on March 1 directed the committee to complete its inquiry and submit its recommendations to the MoEF which would then take a final decision on the project.
A division bench headed by Justice D D Sinha after perusing the committee`s report has directed MoEF to take a decision on the state government`s proposal seeking use of non-forest land for the construction of the dam within six weeks after considering the committee`s report.
The government today informed the court that it would take necessary steps to comply with the recommendations made by the committee.
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