The western zone bench (Pune) of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a high-level committee to check violations of rules of nature in the construction of the Seven Eleven Club, which is said to have belonged to former BJP legislator Narendra Mehta.
The club, owned by the family of Mehta, is an ultra-luxurious recreation facility in Mira Road, but it is under the scanner for defying environmental rules. The action has been taken after the petition was filed by Advocate Irba Konapure.
The hearing was conducted via video conferencing on Monday. While admitting the petition, the tribunal noted that, in apparent response to previous complaints about illegal construction, some facilities such as sports clubs, recreation grounds, and lawns were discovered to have been built on reclaimed mangrove forest and water bodies, which were expressly prohibited by law under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification-2011.
“I have not received any notice from the NGT. However, the construction is legal, as all sanctions are in place, “defended Mehta. The committee will comprise the principal secretary of the state environment department, the principal chief conservator of forest, and one representative each from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) and the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC).
While the MCZMA will be the nodal agency for coordination and logistic support, the committee has been directed to visit the place and submit a factual and action-taken report within four weeks.
The next hearing is scheduled to be held on November 7. A series of FIR’s under the relevant sections of the Environment Protection Act have been filed against the club. The state government and civic officials are also under the scanner for awarding permissions in disregard of mandated guidelines.