Mumbai: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has taken cognisance of the destruction of mangroves in the Uran wetlands, which has been taking place over the last six months.
Responding to the pleas of environment groups regarding destruction of nearly 5,000 hectares of mangroves and wetlands in Uran, the CM has asked the state environment ministry to take action.
Environment activists have alleged that reckless landfill activities have been taking place in JNPT SEZ (2240 hectares) and NMSEZ (1250 hectares). Mangroves and wetlands have been destroyed either by direct dumping of hundreds of truckloads of soil and debris or by blocking the free flow of creek water at several places.
According to representatives of environment groups - The Nature Connect ad Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP) - and the fishermen’s body - Paarampaarik Machhimar Bachao Kruti Samiti (PMBKS), “Much time has been lost as environment monitoring officials have been busy with the Lok Sabha elections and even after the polls, there seems to be no check on landfill activities by JNPT and NMSEZ.”
B.N. Kumar, director, The Nature Connect, said, “We received a reply from CM that the principal secretary in the environment department Anil Diggikar has been asked to take action.”
“Our pleas might sound repetitive but the danger is real as wetland after wetland and mangrove after mangrove is being mercilessly buried with absolutely no check,” he said.
Nandakumar Pawar, head of SEAP, said, “This is direct violation of the Bombay high court’s orders to protect mangroves and wetlands. Neither NMSEZ nor JNPT have permissions for the landfill or excavation. The authorities such as MCZMA, CIDCO or the Raigad district magistrate have not responded to our RTI applications.” The mail also highlighted that eco-sensitive areas in Pagote and Kunde villages.