The Bombay High Court came down heavily on Maharashtra government for failing to perform its duty of identifying wetlands in the state and instead seeking modification of a 2013 order of HC banning construction on wetlands.
A division bench of Justices A S Oka and A A Sayyed was hearing an application filed by the state government seeking modification of an order passed by another bench of the high court on March 19, 2013, banning construction on wetlands in the state.
“When the order was passed in 2013, the government was directed to identify all wetlands in the state so that it can be marked out in the map. Till date, you (government) have not done that and have been seeking extension time and again. Now you have the audacity to seek modification of that order,” the court said.
“Do you want to permit destruction of mangroves? Is that why you want the order modified? You have not done your duty of identifying wetlands in the state. You have not complied with the high court order and the rules formulated thereafter by the central government,” the court said.
The bench directed government pleader G W Mattos to take instructions from the concerned officers if the government wants to withdraw its application seeking modification of the HC order.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on July 4.