A Public Interest Litigation filed in the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the authorities to stop work and set aside the in principle approval granted for constructing the "Sea front road and beautification of Devka Beach" at Nani Daman.
Right To Information (RTI) activist, Jitendra Maru in his petition states that he obtained information under the RTI Act that only in principle approval has been granted to the said construction. Moreover, there exists an adjoining road which is absolutely sufficient for the purpose of connectivity in the area with only difference that same is not adjoining to the sea. The residents of Daman never ever sought the construction of such kind of sea facing road at the cost of destruction of the Devka beach itself.
Further the petition says Coastal Zone Management Authority, Daman & Diu, has not even verified the demarcation of the High Tide Line (HTL) or Low Tide Line (LTL), coupled with the project lay out.
If at all this project is to be permitted it has to be one of the exceptional cases so as to permit construction between HTL and LTL. This being the case the construction will definitely either fall in CRZ IA or CRZ IB category. In either case this kind of destructive development is not permissible.
As for wrong categorizing the plea says "Though the zone actually falls under CRZ IA or CRZ IB, the authorities with clear malafides and for obvious extraneous reasons have exercised their powers contrary to the legislative intent of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and the CRZ notifications. The respondents created farce of CRZ Clearance by making wrong noting that the area falls under CRZ II and CRZ III category."
It is also said that a comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report will be required for the project, which is not undertaken by the administration, which shows clear non-application of mind by authorities, while allowing construction of the project.
The petition mentions that coastline of Daman will undergo extensive and irreparable damage because of non-compliance with the statutory requirements of Environment Protection Act. Thus its prays for setting aside the in-principle approval granted, on March 2, 2019, for the project under the guise of provisions of Coastal Regulation Zone.
Declare that the commencement of the work without obtaining the final CRZ clearance and Environment Impact Assessment as illegal and further be pleased to direct the respondents, to restore the Devka beach, as it was prior to commencement of work. By way of interim relief, stay the on-going construction activities. The PIL is likely to come up for hearing in due course.
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