Dismiss fishermen’s plea: Govt to green panel THE CONCERN
The state has asked the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) western bench in Pune to dismiss a petition against the construction of a Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial statue in the Arabian Sea through an affidavit terming it “wholly baseless, misconceived and unsubstantiated”.
In September, a local fishing community had opposed the project citing large-scale ecological damage, drop in fish catch. The community alleged that the process of acquiring environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances was done without any public consultation, through a petition submitted at the tribunal.
Earlier this year, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis directed the finance ministry to make budgetary allocations for the project that is likely to be completed by 2019.
The 192-m statue of the Maratha warrior king has been planned on a rocky outcrop of 15.96 hectares, roughly 1.5km from Raj Bhavan and 3.5km into the Arabian Sea. The memorial is likely to cost more than Rs2,000 crore.
“The applicants have failed to bring on record any data, either scientific, environmental, theoretical, qualitative or quantitative in support of their several allegations as a part of their application. The hypothetical and speculative application is vague, misconceived, misconstrued and does not raise any substantial questions relating to environment and deserves to be dismissed,” read the affidavit submitted on October 24 by Dhanyakumar Borarkar, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial project division.