A PIL was filed in the Calcutta High Court today pleading for an immediate halt to the West Bengal government's plan to construct a six-km long flyover over East Kolkata Wetlands, claiming that the project will severely impact its ecology.
Counsel for the NGO that moved the PIL submitted before the division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty that the nature and character of the land cannot be changed as per the East Kolkata Wetland Management Act of 2006.
East Kolkata Wetlands is a notified RAMSAR site, which is the international convention on wetlands for conservation and their sustainable use.
The petitioner's counsel, Siddhartha Mitra, submitted that as per the Act, permission needs to be taken from the central government for any activity at the RAMSAR site and that there cannot be any construction there for non-wetland purpose.
Joydeep Kar, the high court-appointed amicus curae on wetlands, told the court that the state government or any other authority has to take prior permission of the high court for any activity on the wetlands.
Asked about the state government's position on the PIL, Advocate General Kishore Dutta told the division bench that he has to consult state officers before making his submission.
He was granted time till September 13, when the matter would come up for hearing again.
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