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Mumbai: Mangroves being destroyed in Dahisar #WTFnews

Residents of Dahisar (East) have complained of mangrove destruction of in their area. (Photo: New Link Road Residents’ Forum)

More than a year after the Bombay high court (HC) banned reclamation of wetlands, residents of Dahisar (East) have complained of mangrove destruction of in their area.

While The New Link Road Residents’ Forum (NLRRF) approached the civic body, the local police and the revenue department on Wednesday, an FIR is yet to be registered in the matter.

“In total violation of the CRZ I, mangroves have been hacked near Saraswati Apartments. Close to 15 acres of wetlands are being reclaimed to convert the plot into a parking area for tourist buses,” said Harish Pandey, secretary, NLRRF.

“At another location, near Vithal Rakhumai Mandir, mangroves have been cleared to store building material such as sewage pipes and cement blocks,” Pandey said.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Thursday, issued a notice under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act about the alleged mangrove destruction in the two locations, which fall under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ).

“The BMC has done its part by releasing the notice. The police have to take further action now,” said Santosh Kumar Donde, ward officer, BMC.

The Dahisar police, however, told HT that while they received the MRTP notice from the civic body on Friday, the BMC needs to send an engineer to the spot for inspection.

“We are waiting for an engineer from the municipal corporation to give us the exact details of the violation, after which we will file an FIR against the accused,” said Prakash Jadhav, senior inspector, Dahisar police.

Officials from the revenue department confirmed the violation of environmental norms at one of the locations.

“We visited the site near Saraswati Apartments along with forest officials. We found violations and filed two complaints to the Dahisar police, asking them to register an FIR. If we find rules have been flouted at the second location too, we will draft a panchnama along with inputs from the forest department, and file a complaint,” said Prashanti Mane, tehsildar, Borivali taluka.

Residents have alleged serious damage to the mangroves.

“Dumped debris has formed a 10-feet-high wall in the mangroves near the Vithal Rakhumai Mandir, where clearing of illegally extracted sand is underway,” said David Soosay, resident of Dahisar.

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