Mumbai: A police complaint was lodged against six contractors on Wednesday after 13 illegal dumping sites were found by a committee formed to investigate the presence of Rohingya immigrants staying illegally in Malvani area of Malad. It's being alleged that illegal immigrants are hacking nearby mangroves and dumping them elsewhere to clear the land for slums.
The committee – which comprises deputy municipal commissioner, zonal deputy commissioner of police, deputy collector and rationing officer – was formed in 2022 after Mumbai Suburban Guardian Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha ordered the BMC to check on the alleged infiltration. The committee was asked to submit a report within 90 days.
Survey revealed dumping sites
In the past two months, a survey was carried out and 13 dumping sites were discovered at Malvani, Ambujwadi, Shivaji Nagar, Madh and Marve. “The area is very large and the illegal dumping takes place mostly at night time which makes it difficult to bring it under control. So we have submitted the evidence – which was found on these sites – to the police that we had found at the location,” said the civic official.
Besides the police complaint, the BMC has also filed cases against the contractors under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act, added the official. In a letter sent to the Malvani police station, the BMC has requested to investigate the matter and take stringent action under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities.
“Mangroves provide natural protection to nearby populated areas by preventing erosion and absorbing storm surge impacts during extreme weather events. So it's important to protect them. The department that owns the land should take measures to protect their piece. Also a security officer can be appointed at such locations to keep vigil,” read the letter.
Earlier, the BMC used to penalise drivers found dumping debris illegally. But it sought police help in November 2022 when the menace increased.
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