The Bombay High Court today sought reply from the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) and senior government officials on a plea alleging dereliction on their part in allowing a private firm to construct a dam in neighbouring Thane district.
A division bench headed by Justice D D Sinha was hearing an application filed by NGO ”Shramik Mukti Sanghatana” seeking direction to the state government to initiate criminal action against those bureaucrats who granted permission to F A Enterprises for construction of the dam on river Kalu.
The NGO had earlier filed a PIL alleging that the dam was being constructed without securing requisite permissions from the union Ministry of Environment and Forest.
Advocate Gayatri Singh, appearing for the NGO, today filed the application and sought strict action and initiating prosecution against the concerned officials who gave a go ahead for the construction.
Directing MMRDA, F A Enterprises and the government officials to file their reply to the application after three weeks, Justice Sinha said, “If any official has not performed their duty then action will be taken”.
Based on the PIL, the court had earlier directed the MOEF to form an advisory committee to look into the allegations. The advisory committee had in June submitted a report pointing out certain shortcomings in the project and sought suspension of the construction activity.
The MOEF counsel today informed the court that work on the dam has been stopped and the advisory committee”s report has been accepted by the ministry.
The dam, which is expected to improve water supply to areas such as Mira-Bhayander and Navi Mumbai, would submerge an area of 2100 hectares, including 1000 hectares of dense forest, after completion.