Mumbai, India (Urban Transport News): The Bombay High Court has given permission to National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed for implementing bullet train corridors in India under Ministry of Railways, to cut about 22,000 mangroves trees out of 53,467 which are need to remove from the route of under-construction Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
The Bombay High Court on Friday permitted the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) to cut around 22,000 mangrove trees in Mumbai and neighbouring districts of Palghar and Thane for the under-construction Mumbai- Ahmedabad bullet train project, reported India Today.
The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja said in their order that NHSRCL will have to comply with certain terms and conditions set out in the approvals granted by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) and the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) when the work is embarked upon.
The NHSRCL had approached the high court seeking permission to cut mangrove trees in furtherance of a stay order passed by a co-ordinate bench in 2018. The order had put a total stay on the felling of mangrove trees with subject to NHSRCL could approach the high court for the necessary permission in case of such felling was required for a public interest project.
Advocate Pralhad Paranjape, appearing for the NHRSCL, informed the divisional bench that the number of mangrove trees to be felled for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project had been reduced from over 50,000 to approximately 22,000.
He had assured that the NHSRCL would plant five times the total number of trees that were proposed to be felled. He disclosed that the MCZMA and MOEFCC had suggested two platforms located near the mangroves be shifted a little away so that the number of affected mangrove trees is reduced. This was accepted by the NHSRCL and the total number of affected trees fell from 53,467 to approximately 22,000.
The NHSRCL also claimed to have received all requisite sanctions and approvals from statutory authorities to go ahead with the project in the event the high Court permits felling of trees.
The 508.18 km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Bullet Train Corridor will connect Ahmedabad (in Gujarat) to Mumbai (in Maharashtra) with 12 stations.