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Nhava & Sheva   
Nhava & Sheva
Battling for the Environment: Oil, Ports and the Coastline
Shyam Chainani

Paperback Book (6 × 9)  :   Pages : 258

2012  Edition   :   ISBN - 978-81-7188-965-5

Price : Rs. 695.00  / USD 29.95

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The battle for Nhava-Sheva, probably was the turning point that made Shyam into an activist for the environment. It was the struggle against Rashtriya Chemicals Fertilizers (RCF) which wanted to build a fertilizer plant on the beach and ONGC that wanted to build a materials dump at Nhava that fired up Shyam to fight for the preservation of the coastline.

It is the fight for Nhava Sheva that resulted in the CRZ rules being promulgated by Mrs Indira Gandhi.

Ashok H Advani, Publisher, Business India Group of Publications


This is a story about one man’s passion. It describes his relentless, almost obsessive crusade to save the pristine islands of Nhava and Sheva from the bulldozers’ and builders’ axes. Located a few miles off the coastline of Mumbai, these islands are also home to the famed Nhava Sheva port. His battle began when concern for the environment was almost unheard of. He made some friends and even more enemies; but undeterred he carried on.

Sheila Shahani, Editor, Inside Outside

About the Author:

SHYAM CHAINANI 1942 – 2010


Shyam Chainani obtained his B. Tech degree from IIT-Kharagpur, his MSc from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA and studied Industrial Management at Cambridge University, UK. He joined the Tata Administrative Service in 1966 and served with the Tata Group till he retired.

He was a Founder Member of the Save Bombay Committee in 1970 and established the Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG) in 1977, the flagship NGO through which he pursued a number of campaigns to protect the environment. Some of these are described in detail in his book Heritage and Environment, an Indian Diary published in 2007.

Among the numerous and wide-ranging causes which he addressed were the protection of the built heritage, the national environment (in particular the coastal zone), the re-location of large industrial projects away from eco-sensitive areas, the protection of hill stations, cantonments, and Nhava island.

His relentless lobbying, public interest litigation and participation on numerous Central and state government committees, led to the enactment of much legislation related to Urban Heritage Conservation, Coastal Zone Management and Protection of Eco-Sensitive Areas.

Shyam passed away prematurely after a valiant struggle with cancer, while he was in the process of completing four books. This book on the hard-fought struggle to save Nhava island, one of the earliest of Shyam’s campaigns, is the first of these to be published.






Nautical Institute/Training Ship Rahaman

The Hydraulic Lift



In the Nick of Time

Petroleum Secretary

Environmental Atmosphere

Grim Battle

Political Action

Trade Union Support

Maharashtra Government Action

Deforestation and Destruction

Maharashtra Government Protection Committee


The Shipping Ministry

Two Prime Ministers

C.P.N. Singh


Nhava Sheva Port


Political Pressures

Chief Minister Antulay

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

The Prime Minister’s Directives

Department of Environment

Personal Pressures

Broken Promises

Further Directive

Petroleum Ministry (In) action

Chief Secretary’s Committee

Continuing Destruction

Small World

Old Boy Network

Regimental Tie

Lost Friendship

Attacks and Threats

ONGC and the Local Population

Coast Guard Base

Ship Repair Yard

Review Committee

The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (E P Act)

Regional Park

Heritage Protection

Marine Museum

CRZ Protection

Fresh Threat

Nautical Institute/ Training Ship Rahaman

Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru) Port

Safeguarding Nhava

What’s in a Name?

Land Grab

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi

Working Group

Bombay Port

Shipping Ministry Land Policy

Right to Information – Landmark Decision

A Bridge Too Far

Chief Minister Antulay

J.R.D Tata

Colaba-Uran Bridge-cum-Tunnel

Colaba-Uran Bridge Shelved

Social Conflict

Bridging Problems

Elephantine Problem

Record Keeping

Environmental Clearance

Other Islands






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