THE CITY’S fishing community Wednesday approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the construction of a Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea.
The Akhil Maharashtra Machimar Kriti Samiti (AMMKS) has alleged that the project will affect the coastal area of Arabian Sea near Mumbai and destroy natural aquatic, marine life and marine eco-system.
“Fishermen are dependent on the project site as many species of fish and lobsters are found in abundance at the spot,” said Damodar Tandel, president of AMMKS. The project site is 1.2 km from Raj Bhavan and 3.6 km from Girgaum Chowpatty.
Marine conservationist Pradip Patade, who is also a petitioner, said the project will hamper marine biodiversity. “Corals and schools of dolphins have been spotted at the spot where the statue is proposed. These will be lost owing to construction and commercial activity,” said Patade.
Lawyer Asim Sarode, who represents the petitioners, said there were issues related to legality, propriety, rights related to process of granting and acquiring the environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone clearances. “A public hearing was not conducted before granting clearances for the project,” said Sarode. He said the Environmental and CRZ clearances, granted in February 2015, were acquired owing to political influence.
The NGT is likely to hear the matter on September 30.