Dis­miss fish­er­men’s plea: Govt to green panel THE CON­CERN

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Badri Chat­ter­jee badri.chat­ter­jee@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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