Mira-Bhayandar: More than a week after residents 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, the district authorities are still snail-paced in taking appropriate against the culprits who are brazenly defying judicial orders.
After burying the mangrove shrubs, the mafia had also brazenly started levelling the land, consequently posing a serious threat to the fragile eco-system and also increasing the risk of flooding during the rainy season. This despite the fact that the eco-sensitive land falls under the coastal regulation zone (CRZ). The matter was brought to light on August 6, following which the FPJ highlighted the issue on August 7.
District authorities are working at a snail-pace in resolving issue
However, the district revenue department, Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) and the sub-committee attached to the high-level state mangrove cell are taking their own sweet time to take concrete action. So far, only a diary report of the incident has been inked in the register of the local police station.
Replying to a query posed about action taken, upper tehsildar-Nilesh Gaund reverted by stating that the sub-committee has scheduled a site visit on August 17 (11 days after the matter came to light) to inspect the alleged destruction, following which an offence under the relevant sections of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 will be registered against the land owners and those involved in the transportation and dumping of debris on mangrove belts. The sub-committee has been formed to immediately address complaints of mangrove destruction at the regional level.
Reclaimation of land for illegal construction of buildings is another issue
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 has been banned by the judiciary.
Mangroves article | FPJ