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The Supreme Court (SC) recently dismissed a contempt petition which alleged that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had carried out new construction work for the coastal road project in violation of its previous order.

On May 6, the Apex court had modified a status quo order of the Bombay high court (HC), allowing work to continue on the project across the existing locations only.

The SC had, however, denied construction work in any new areas.

The 29.2-km coastal road aims to reduce travel time between south Mumbai & the western suburbs by 70%.

On Monday, the SC bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta, & Justice Aniruddha Bose was hearing a contempt petition filed by Shweta Wagh from the Society for Improvement, Greenery & Nature (SIGN) alleging that additional construction activity was undertaken by BMC in new areas for the project.

In its order, published on the SC website on Wednesday, the bench dismissed the petition, claiming that solicitor general Tushar Mehta had stated that “it was incorrect that construction in any new area or additional works had been undertaken in violation of the Apex court’s order [May 6, 2019]”.

Mehta also submitted that the Bombay HC had heard the issue & final judgment was awaited in the matter, the SC bench noted.

“In this view of the matter, we do not consider it appropriate to entertain this petition. The contempt petition is dismissed,” the order read.

Wagh was not available for a comment.

However, executive trustee of the Conservation Action Trust, Debi Goenka, who has also filed a petition against the project, alleging adverse effect on marine life, said: “Unfortunately, the HC did not go into the matter at all because it was an order by the SC. In this case, the SC has said they will not intervene in the HC’s final judgment,” said Goenka.


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