NAVI MUMBAI: Taking advantage of the festival season when several government offices remain closed, an unidentified gang hacked mangroves near Mansarovar railway station on Thursday evening. A few alert citizens and environmentalists, who noticed it, informed Cidco and the state forest department.
“Already several mangroves have been hacked near the Harbour railway line, between Kharghar and Mansarovar railway stations. A large patch of mangroves was destroyed along the coast by some land grabbers on Thursday evening. After seeing that, I immediately informed senior Cidco officials,” activist Anarjit Chauhan. Cidco senior spokesperson M Ninawe told TOI: “After I was informed, I immediately asked the officials to check it and curb any destruction.”
Environmentalist D Stalin of the NGO Vanashakti said: “I have also informed the senior forest officials about this systematic destruction of the green coastal areas during government holidays. In this regard, I have also suggested that it will be useful if constant patrolling of mangroves is done even during holidays.” Around 10 acres of mangroves in the area has been destroyed in the last one year.
TOI recently reported how land grabbers have constructed a wall around the mangroves, close to Mansarovar railway station, to block the inter-tidal waters and “choke” the mangroves. “The Bombay high court stated in an earlier order that various local bodies and government agencies must work together through good coordination to protect the mangroves in areas such as Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mumbai. Hence, we will be writing to various authorities to remind them that it is their duty to protect our eco-sensitive coastal region from land sharks,” said Chauhan.
Another Kharghar activist, Ravi Srivastava, said that any illegal construction done inside the mangroves must be summarily demolished.
Stalin also said that similar mangroves destruction was seen at Airoli, where some people are doing crab farming after removing the mangroves. The activists also suggested that google satellite images should be taken and preserved regularly so that such green wipe out can be detected and action taken.
Credits ET Realty