Builder arrested for destroying mangroves in Mumbai

MUMBAI: In a landmark order, state lokayukta M L Tahaliyani has ordered the arrest of Santosh Davne, a landowner and developer for dumping debris and destruction of mangroves in Dahisar (east). He has also directed the district or sub-divisional magistrate to consider whether action can be taken against the land owner and developer over removal of the debris.

Activist Harish Pande, member of New Link Road Residents Forum, former mayor Shubha Raul and ex-councillor Sheetal Mhatre had complained of debris being dumped on mangroves and land reclaimed for parking.

A week ago, Tahaliyani had carried out a site inspection at Anand Nagar in Dahisar (east).

The police have registered an offence against alleged developer Santosh Davne under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act. The order states: “If the debris has been dumped by Davne it follows that he will have to be arrested under section 15 (1) and 15 (2) of the Environment Protection Act , 1986. The section entails punishment of five years and is cognisable and non-bailable.”

It further states that the developer could not have indulged in unauthorised development without permission or knowledge of the land owner “Therefore, the owner is also required to be arrested as an abettor.”

Lokayukta Tahaliyani has directed that the police examine the culpability of drivers and transporters and if necessary arrest them too. He has noted that there was electricity connection provided by Reliance Energy Ltd. “The police shall also examine the culpability of Reliance Energy Ltd and if anyone is found to have abetted the commission of offence under the Environment Protection Act 1986, he shall be arrested and be produced before the magistrate,” said the order.

The order has directed the Dahisar police to depute a constable to visit the spot twice daily, preferably “after 10.30”, and submit a report to the senior inspector.

Credits ET Realty

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