In National Highways Authority of India v. State of Maharashtra & Ors., the Bombay High Court has permitted the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to cut mangrove trees located within a patch of the construction zone of the Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway in Maharashtra.
In light of a 2018 order that placed a complete moratorium on the destruction of mangroves throughout the State, NHAI filed a petition with the High Court. An exception was, however, granted for public projects, with a pre-condition that the project proponent should take permission from the High Court.
Despite the fact that the petition originally called for the removal of 1,001 mangrove trees, a later affidavit said that only 350 mangrove trees would need to be removed in order to complete the project.
“Bharatmala Pariyojana is an ambitious and mammoth project of Government of India. Vadodara-Mumbai Greenfield Expressway will benefit large sections of population in Maharashtra, Gujrat and Union Territory of Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Considering the importance of the project proposed to be undertaken by NHAI, we deem it appropriate to grant permission as sought for,” order stated.