PIL in HC on violation of CRZ norms in Palghar

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court has alleged violation of Coastal Regulation Zone rules in Dahanu area of the district and prayed for a direction to disallow construction of such structures which are coming up in this belt.

Palghar: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court has alleged violation of Coastal Regulation Zone rules in Dahanu area of the district and prayed for a direction to disallow construction of such structures which are coming up in this belt.

The PIL, filed by activist Vijay Moreshwar Vengurlekar, came up for hearing before a bench of Justices A S Oka and G S Kulkarni which posted the hearing on September 15.

Vengurlekar said Dahanu is one of the eco-sensitive areas and the Ministry of Environment and Forest had earlier issued a notification declaring Dahanu tehsil as an 'ecologically fragile area' and imposing various restrictions.

However, the local civic authorities allegedly granted permission to a businesswoman, one of the respondents in the PIL, to carry out construction in the area covered under the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) regulations, the PIL said.

The six respondents include state government's urban development department secretary, Collectors of Palghar and Thane, Assistant Director of Town Planning (ADTP), Palghar, Dahanu Municipal Council and businesswoman Dolly Boman Irani.

The petitioner further stated that the "said area in respect of which part occupation certificate is granted (to Dolly Irani) is hit by CRZ. It also falls in no development zone of Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) of 1996."

There are no mangroves but the land is located in an area where water collects at the time of high tide and floods.

In such circumstances, the petitioner submitted that the construction made by the respondent (Irani) is in blatant violation of rules and has been ignored by other respondents, the petitioner said.

Stating that he had made representations to the Chief Minister and District Collector, he said that, however, till today, he has not received reply from any of the respondents following which he was constrained to approach the High Court to seek relief.

The petitioner urged the court to call for records of the construction carried out by respondent Dolly Irani based on the permission granted by collector Thane, ADTP and Dahanu municipal council and after going through it and satisfying about the legality, validity and propriety thereof, the same may be quashed and set aside.

The petition also prayed for a direction to the authorities to take steps for protection of environment around the Dahanu creek and seek damages from the offenders on the principle of "polluter to pay."

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