350 mangrove trees may be cut down for the Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway under the approval of Bombay’s High Court.

The Vadodara–Mumbai motorway development zone has recently been approved by the Bombay High Court, who noted that the highway will benefit significant portions of the people. In the case of National Highways Authority of India v. State of Maharashtra and Ors (Writ Petition No. 9368 of 2021), the division bench constituting acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep V Marne declared the justification for the same. 


The Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway Phase II construction was approved by the National Highways Authority of India. The project includes several areas that fall under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority has given the project its blessing in terms of the ecology and the CRZ (MCZMA). The project received approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The Dahanu Taluka Environment Protection Authority (DTEPA) and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board also granted NHAI a number of additional clearances (MPCB).

Under the Public Interest Litigation named, Bombay Environmental Action Group V. State of Maharashtra in 2018, a complete ban was established on the cutting of mangrove trees in the state which forbade any entity from issuing development permits near any mangrove areas.The court additionally declared that the statutory bodies could request permission from the relevant authorities for projects in mangrove regions, but the court would have to approve the request. Consequently, the current petition was posted.

The petition sought authorization to remove 1001 mangrove trees. On January 19, 2023, NHAI notified the court in an affidavit that only 350 mangrove trees would need to be cut down to complete the project. 


The court mentioned that NHAI has received approval from all agencies under strict guidelines. For instance, the environment ministry mandated compensatory afforestation and the creation of a separate nursery to cultivate at least 1 lakh seedlings of forest species.

“Various authorities have already imposed strict conditions on NHAI including that of afforestation while granting their respective permissions. NHAI will have to strictly comply with those conditions. This will ensure adherence to the principle of sustainable development”, the court has declared. 

It was held that the Vadodara-Mumbai greenfield express highway would benefit large sections of population in Maharashtra, Gujrat and Union Territory of Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

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