Mira-Bhayandar: Environmentalists Condemn Delayed Action Against Illegal Mangrove Destruction Despite Court Orders

Mira-Bhayandar: Environmentalists Condemn Delayed Action Against Illegal Mangrove Destruction Despite Court Orders

The civic anti-debris squads, meant for round-the-clock monitoring, appear non-existent, as large areas in the eco-sensitive zone are illegally reclaimed for building hotels, dhabhas, and other structures.

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Sunday, April 21, 2024, 06:07 PM IST
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Local environmentalists have raised serious concerns over the snail’s pace action by the law enforcing agencies in acting against culprits who are brazenly defying judicial orders by dumping truckloads of debris to reclaim pristine stretches of mangrove land including those which fall under the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) of the twin-city.

In his letter to the district collector, Thane, environmentalist-Dhiraj Parab who has been doing exemplary work in protecting the wetlands and mangroves for past several years has alleged that despite registering complaints supported by photographic evidence, officials from agencies including, the district revenue department, Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), forest department and the sub-committee attached to the high-level state mangrove cell are taking their own sweet time to take concrete action.

Seeking action against the deliberate apathy of concerned officials, Parab has alleged that despite having data captured by the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Applications Centre (MRSAC), officials who tend to protect the violators have been shying away from compiling the the Google Earth database to monitor mangrove belts on an annual basis.

Environmental Concerns And Lack Of Enforcement

The MRSAC, is involved in mapping and monitoring of natural resources for its better management, while identifying the site of mangrove destruction after comparing satellite images from 2005. “After receiving complaints, officials conduct inspections but, in most cases, the actual ground realities remain missing from the spot panchnamas and factual reports are not submitted in time for further action.” alleged Parab. In some cases, the action is limited to filing diary reports at the local police station instead of filing FIR’s. 

"It has become a routine for the land mafia to bury the mangrove shrubs, before levelling the land, consequently posing a serious threat to the fragile eco-system and also increasing the risk of flooding during the rainy season." alleged social activist-Krishna Gupta.  

Illegal Reclamation In Eco-Sensitive Zones Despite Judicial Restrictions

Notably, the anti-debris squads formed by the civic administration to keep 24x7 vigil also seems to be non-existent as huge parcels of land falling in the eco-sensitive zone are being reclaimed to construct illegal buildings, hotels and dhabhas by private landowners. 

This despite the fact that destruction of mangrove forests and constructions within 50 mt of mangrove areas have been banned by the judiciary.

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