The cell currently is all set to demolish more than thousand encroachments in mangrove areas from December second week onwards.
Mumbai: In order to protect the mangrove cover in the city, the state is likely to sign a pact with the Indian Space Research Organsiation’s (Isro) Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) within a month to put in place a satellite-based surveillance system to keep away intruders. The satellite images that will be available to the mangrove cell will pinpoint the exact location of intrusion and hence aid in quicker action saving the mangrove land.
The aim of the mangrove cell is to have a bird’s eye view of the mangrove areas in the city so that people do not cause any destruction to these areas. Areas such as Colaba, Trombay, Shankarwadi in Jogeshwari east, Chikuwadi in Malad (west), Malwani, among others, are considered to be vulnerable to encroachments.
The cell aims to begin with this project as soon as possible and will be setting up a Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on earth’s surface. GIS can show many different kinds of data on one map enabling easier way to see, analyse, and understand various required patterns and observations.
M. Vasudevan, chief conservator of forest (CCF) said, “We have had presentations from IIST about their idea and plans for the project and are in talks about the terms with them. The final decision of who will be allotted the project will be taken within a month’s time.” According to Mr Vasudevan after the decision of allotting the project is taken it will take six months for his team to commence this facility. “The data that will be stored by the satellite will be reviewed every fortnight,” he added.
The cell will hire more staff exclusively working to build this system along with an expert that will lead the team. In order to get higher and perfect images, the cell in later stage may use open source satellite imagery.
The cell currently is all set to demolish more than thousand encroachments in mangrove areas from December second week onwards. The drive, which will be conducted in phases, aims to demolish all the encroachments before the monsoon sets in. A compound wall demarking the mangrove land from that of human area too will be constructed by March 2017 to prevent people from making shelters on mangrove land.