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The Bombay High Court today came down heavily on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for allegedly violating several norms pertaining to Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and for dumping garbage on wetlands and mangroves in suburban Kanjur Marg.
A division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Amjad Sayed expressed shock when it was informed that the civic body had taken over land beyond what was allowed to be used for them by the Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoEF) to dump garbage.
"The corporation is incorrigible. It has no concern for the environment and people," Justice Chandrachud said.
The bench was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations either seeking directions to close dumping grounds at various places within Mumbai or raising concern over non-implementation of Solid Waste Management Rules.
The court was informed about a report of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), which stated that the BMC was using more than the allotted 65.96 hectares of land for dumping and filling activity.
According to the report, the dumping of waste was affecting wetlands and mangrove patches.
The court was also submitted a report of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) stating that waste processing was being done by bio reactor instead of the sanctioned Windrow composting method.
Irked with violations being carried out by the civic body, Justice Chandrachud said, "Who gave you (BMC) the authority to change the waste management method? Are you not duty-bound to go to the Ministry (MoEF) to get approval?"
The corporation counsel replied saying that it had got sanction from the Central Pollution Control Board for use of new technology.
The court was, however, not appeased by this and said, "We will not allow you to destroy the remaining environment. You are here for maintenance and not destruction."
Posting the matter tomorrow, the court directed a senior officer from the Corporation to inform whether it was using land more than what was allotted.
"If the civic body denies using extra land then we will direct the government to do and measure the land being used and if any violation is found then the officer responsible for making the incorrect statement would be held liable," Justice Chandrachud said.