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NGT seeks action taken report on 'Funicular Ropeway project' underway at Jivdani Temple

ANI | Updated: Dec 28, 2020 16:43 IST

New Delhi [India], December 28 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought action taken report in an application seeking direction to take effective action to stop further construction, erection, development on the site of the purported Funicular Ropeway project at Jivdani Temple located on a mountain in Virar of Palghar district of Maharashtra.
The plea stated that the said project is allegedly underway without the requisite Environmental Clearance (EC).
A bench of NGT, headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel on December 24, while seeking action taken report in the matter states that "We are of the opinion that the matter ought to be first looked into by the MoEF and CC (Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change) and further appropriate action taken, in accordance with law within two months".
The petitioner Udaysankar Samuderala (a practicing advocate in Bombay High Court) through the plea states that the project is on forest land and falls in item 7(g) of the Schedule to the EIA Notification dated 14.09.2006. The EC was applied for on 30.09.2019 after substantial progress has been made.
The petition alleged that there is non-implementation of various environmental laws, more particularly non-implementation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, which has led to adverse impacts of climate change across the country, in the said project.
According to the petition, Funicular Ropeway project has been constructed on forest land near Jivdani Temple, by a company namely M/s Yashita Automotive Engineering Private Limited, without getting any necessary Environmental Clearance, which is a mandatory requirement for a project of this kind as it squarely falls within item 7(g) of the schedule of EIA notification, 2006. It also alleged that as on date of starting of the project sometime in the year 2018 and even as on day today i.e. when the project is almost completed and close to the commencement of commercial operation, the project does not have a clearance.
The plea also stated that there is a stark difference between the Funicular Ropeway project and Monocable Pulsated fixed-grip Passenger Ropeway in terms of its land use and the environmental damage to be sustained.
In the case of Monocable Pulsated fixed-grip Passenger Ropeway, the requirement of land, (in this case a forest land) is minimal since only two pillars are to be constructed on the ground
for the development of the terminal stations on both ends, it added.
In a Funicular Ropeway project, the entire project is built on land as it involves laying down of railway track on the ground. The land used and environmental damage is exponentially higher in the case of a Funicular Ropeway project, plea stated. (ANI)