Monday, November 29, 1999

MMRDA told to remove retaining wall along Mithi

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Mumbai, June 17 -- A three-member committee appointed by the Bombay High Court has recommended the removal of the 300-metre-long RCC retaining wall constructed by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) along Mithi River. The court had appointed the committee last year after petitioner Jagdish Gandhi said that MMRDA had not conducted a proper environmental impact assessment before starting construction of the wall. The businessman has filed a PIL contending that the wall will block the supply of saline water and nutrients to mangroves in the area. The committee, comprising Avinash Kubal, deputy director, Maharashtra Nature Park Society, Sameer Mehta, South Asia director, International Rivers, and Dr Goldin Quadros, India director, World Wife Fund, found that MMRDA constructed the wall without evaluating its ecological impact. "MMRDA has not paid sufficient attention to the effect on mangroves," said the committee while recommending complete removal of the wall and adjoining embankment created for laying a service road."It is a sorry state of affairs," observed a division bench of Justice F.I. Rebello and Justice R.V. More.

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