MBMC opts for Google Mapping of mangroves before creek desilting

Bhayandar : Stung by FIRs registered against them by the police under the relevant sections of the Environment Protection Act, last year, senior officials attached to the sanitation wing of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) are treading cautiously before embarking on the pre-monsoon desilting project in creeks which have a large presence of mangroves.

Into the advanced stages of filing a judicial petition seeking permission to relocate mangroves for carrying out de-silting operations in an effective manner, the MBMC has rolled up its sleeves to prepare a comprehensive report supported by satellite imagining of the coastal vegetation to substantiate our claims and stressing the importance of de-silting.

There are a total of 155 major and minor nullahs in the twin-city which measure up to more than 240 kms.

However, for the past couple of years, the MBMC-appointed contractual companies have been expressing helplessness to clean 12 major water bodies including 2 major creeks owing to the presence of dense mangrove cover. These creeks are crucial outlets that protect from possible floods.

MBMC chief Dr. BG Pawar inspected major nullahs and creek s on Friday.

According to environmentalist, to say that hacking mangroves is a flood prevention measure is itself misleading. Mangroves are not only the natural barriers against floods, they protect the shoreline from soil erosion.

“Choked with sludge, debris and muck, the creeks pose a serious threat of flooding in low-lying areas, especially during high tides. We are not against mangroves, but at some spots their trimming and relocation is inevitable. To ensure minimal damage, we have decided to map them in a digitized way,” said deputy civic chief Dr Sambhajji Panpatte.

It should be noted that as per the high court directives, destruction of mangrove would attract stringent punishment under the Environment Protection Act.

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