The Gujarat High Court Friday issued notice to the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) and the union and state governments over installing transmission towers in Surajbari creek of Kutch district.
The bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi issued the notice following a public interest litigation by Samma Siddiq Usman challenging the installation of the towers.
The petitioner’s counsel Anand Yagnik told the court that PGCIL has bunded and completely blocked the creek, particularly the Cheravadi sub-creek, with construction waste including tiles and mud.
This has affected the natural course of Surajbari creek and the sea water, the petitioner argued.
The counsel claimed that the bunding of the creek was done only to cut the cost of setting up platforms for the towers in the water.
Three other transmission lines pass through the creek, but never before was such bunding or blockage resorted to by companies, Yagnik argued.
‘There are established and known methods of setting platforms in the water for putting up pillars of the bridge, transmission towers as well as pipelines, but they are not put into practice,’ he claimed.
The creek was an integral part of the Wild Ass Sanctuary, which is now declared as the 15th biosphere region of the country where all non-forest activity are prohibited, Yagnik told the court.
The counsel further said that it has also affected the livelihood of around 4,000 fishermen of surrounding areas.
The petitioner also sought the court’s direction to the Power Grid Corporation to get the Coastal Regulation Zone clearance from the union government for setting up the transmission towers and to pay compensation to the fishermen in the affected villages.
Following the submissions, the court has issued the notice and posted the matter for March 14.