Important High Court/Supreme Court Orders
Writ Petition No. 2116 of 2005
Shri Kirti Sommaiya Ex-MP
The State of Maharashtra and Others
Shri Kirit Somaiya Ex-MP had filed a PIL against the State of Maharashtra and Others. The Petitioner’s main contention was that the lapses and omissions on the part of the public authorities, when unprecedented floods occurred particularly on the banks of RiverNorth Mumbai on 26/7/2005. Different Division Benches, heard the matter at length and passed various orders from time to time. The Board had filed in all five (5) affidavits in compliance of various orders.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board had engaged services of M/s Clean Environment Services Pvt Ltd Mumbai an Expert Agency to monitor 20 points along the stretch of Mihti River, to collect and analyse samples and submit report to the Board, on Mithi River water quality, sludge quality and quantity as well as short term and long term measure to control pollution of Mithi River.
M/s Clean Environment Consultant Pvt Ltd recommended short term and long term measures including immediate closure of all unauthorized activities discharging waste, provide proper garbage collection system to prevent dumping thereof Mithi River as a short term measures and to plan for sewers on both the banks of the Mithi River with STP’s at various locations, proper debris collection and disposal system at the entire length of Mithi River bed to improve its carrying capacity and to provide proper garbage collection stations for the benefit of hutment dwellers.
It was suggested that the river was to be restored to its original status with the help of MCGM, MMRDA, Dist. Collector, Mumbai and with the MCZMA and Urban Development Department, G O M . M/s Clean Environment Services Pvt Ltd was further assigned the study w.r to identify illegal industries and unlicensed activities discharging industrial waste into Mithi River, Collection of samples and to prepare comprehensive report for taking further actions in matter in a time bound manner.
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board constituted 8 (eight) teams consisting of 28 (twenty eight) Technical Officers, 4 (Four) Senior Level Officers (Scientific, Legal and Technical) the survey was carried out along the banks of Mithi River from its origin i.e. Vihar Lake upto confluence i.e. the place where the river meets the sea at Mahim. Unconsented and polluting activities identified and necessary legal actions initiated including issuance of Show Cause Notices first, then extending personal hearing and issuance of directions for compliance, lastly issuance of appropriate final directions including closure and disconnection of water and electricity supply of defaulting activities.
Almost all the polluting activities identified in the catchments of the Mithi River and necessary directions are issued to comply with the environment norms in a time bound manner.
Hon’ble High Court after hearing above PIL for considerable time came to the conclusion that in view of the fact that the first stage in respect of identification of unauthorized structures, industries and polluting B VNM,B.6activities and demolition of 3984 structures as well as removal of the debris to the tune of 25, 94, 440 cu. Mtrs of silt / debris / rocks, has been satisfactorily completed, it can be positively hoped that the 2nd stage will also be completed in due course. It is also noted that this has resulted into increasing the carrying capacity of the river by three times.
In view of the above actions, the petition was disposed off by Hon’ble High Court
( Coram : H.L. Gokhale, Acting C.J. & V.M. Kanade, J. ) vide order dtd. 17.1.2007.