Already under attack from the notorious debris and land mafia, the lush mangrove belts are now facing a new threat in the form of massive pest attacks in the twin-city of Mira-Bhayandar.
Massive infestation by insects and moths which have been reported from mangroves patches in twin-city have left environmentalists worried.
Normally flourishing with an evergreen appearance, especially during these post-monsoon months, the mangroves in most of the wetlands have started turning brown while wearing a dry and skeletal look due to attack by pests and insects like the Hyblaea Puera moth.
“The mangrove cell and other concerned authorities should not only take corrective measures ensuring mangroves are replenished but also take steps to protect the areas from the notorious land mafia who could pounce upon the opportunity to carry out illegal dumping activities in an attempt to grab the ecologically fragile land to carry out illegal constructions," said environmental activist Dhiraj Parab who has been striving to protect wetlands and conserve mangroves in the region.
It should be noted that high-intensity pest attacks have also been reported from mangrove stretches in other parts of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
Lush mangrove belts and wetland stretches in the twin-city are being systematically destructed by dumping garbage and diverting the creek water so as to facilitate construction of hotels, multi-storey residential and commercial buildings. This despite of the fact that destruction of mangrove forests and construction activity within 50m of mangrove areas have been banned by the judiciary.