Mira Bhayandar: The unregulated dumping of construction debris by the local mafia has sounded the death knell for lush mangrove belts in Mira Road, exposing the glaring insensitivity and apathy shown by the authorities towards the protection and preservation of green cover.
Residents had posted photos on social media platforms showing truckloads of debris being dumped to reclaim pristine stretches of mangrove land behind Neminath Heights tower in the Hatkesh area of Mira Road on Sunday.
Mira Bhayandar: Mafia's Reckless Debris Dumping Spells Doom for Mangroves, Revealing Authorities' Apathy | FPJ
Eco-sensitive land falls under coastal regulation zone (CRZ)
After burying the mangrove shrubs, the mafia had also brazenly started leveling the land, posing a serious threat to the fragile ecosystem and increasing the risk of flooding during the rainy season. This is despite the fact that the eco-sensitive land falls under the coastal regulation zone (CRZ). The brazen illegalities have alarmed local environmentalists who fear that if such activities continue, it will be too late to protect the natural defense barriers. Environmentalist Dhiraj Parab said, "The manner in which waste is being dumped here will completely wipe out the mangrove cover, resulting in massive flooding of the areas in the future. I have informed the civic administration, police, and the revenue department, who shoulder the responsibility of keeping a tab and stopping such illegal activities." When contacted, Upper Tehsildar Nilesh Gaud said, "We have received the complaint, and after a site inspection on Monday, we will immediately take action, including registering criminal offences against the violators involved in the illegal activities," confirming the response.
Notably, members of the sub-committee attached to the high-level state mangrove cell, which has been formed to address complaints of mangrove destruction at the regional level, had conducted a survey of the eco-sensitive zone and acted in 2019. However, the so-called action has turned out to be a cosmetic eyewash, as the mafia, on behalf of private developers and landowners, is converting the green cover into a hotbed for multi-crore real estate projects. The judiciary has banned the destruction of mangrove forests across the state and constructions within 50m of mangrove areas.