Bullet Train Project: Government agrees to wipe mangroves spread over 19-hectares

Maharashtra government had earlier informed the court that the proposed bullet train project passing through Thane creek will require the removal of mangroves

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Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) on Monday informed Bombay High Court that it has agreed to the proposal by National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) which sought sanction to wipe mangroves for the proposed Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project in districts including Thane, Navi Mumbai, and Palghar.   

Earlier on March 18, Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) had informed the HC regarding the agreement of NHSRCL’s proposal and that a request for final approval was sent to the MoEF. 

After the proposal was rejected earlier by the MCZMA to remove 19-hectares of mangroves, the high-speed rail corporation sought the Bombay HC to resolve the issue on December 22, 2018. However, the HC itself had directed to not allow the same. 

In its petition, the NHSRCL had mentioned that of the 508-km long bullet train corridor, 155.64 km passes through in Maharashtra. The corridor will affect 1.5 lakh mangroves in the area of 18.9 hectares along with 131.3 hectares of forest area in the state.  

The proposed bullet train corridor falls in the protected area and eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) which travels through Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary. 

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Earlier, during the previous hearing, the Maharashtra government had filed an affidavit informing that the part of the project passing through the creek requires the removal of mangroves as an underground tunnel will be constructed. However, the bullet train project will not affect the flora and fauna of the flamingo sanctuary.

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