Bhayandar: A tweet accompanied with a photo highlighting the mangrove destruction near Gaurav Woods in the posh Kanakia area of Mira Road, shared by an alert citizen and tagged to the local police station along with the Chief Minister Office (PMO), had jolted the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) out of their slumber last month.
However, investigations have now revealed that the so-called action was nothing but a cosmetic eyewash, exposing the glaring insensitivity and apathy shown by the civic authorities towards protection and preservation of mangroves.
Following the tweet, MBMC’s anti-dumping squad had seized a dumper and handed it over to the Mira Road police station on May 15, however the actual beneficiaries including the plot owners and developer have not only managed to evade action under the provisions of the stringent Environment Protection Act, but are yet to be identified.
Ironically,the owner of the dumper is yet to be questioned, to track the perpetrators who had openly wiped out the mangroves to turn the land into a hot bed for real estate projects.
After offloading more than 100 truckloads of debris to reclaim pristine stretches of mangroves, the land sharks have brazenly started leveling the area with impunity, consequently posing a serious threat to the fragile eco-system and also increasing the risk of flooding during the rainy season.
It has been alleged that despite an alarming rise in cases of dumping, MBMC’s much hyped anti-debris squad is playing blind to the illegal activities.
The destruction of mangrove forests across the state and constructions within 50m of mangrove areas has been banned by the judiciary.
By Suresh Golani