The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) had called for an inspection report from the collector.
Mumbai: The mangrove area across Vashi village along the Sion-Panvel highway is being subjected to dumping of debris and road construction waste, environment activists have said. In a written complaint to the Bombay high court-appointed mangrove committee, accompanied by photographic evidence, activists stated that despite intervention by the forests department, the dumping was still being carried out brazenly at the site.
Following complaints regarding destruction of mangroves, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) had called for an inspection report from the collector on the matter. “This inspection had no apparent impact. The forest department installed a lone CCTV camera and the PWD put up barely knee-high railings along the highway between Vashi village and the toll plaza. Yet, these do not deter the debris mafia, and the dumping is carried out right behind the CCTV camera,” said B.N. Kumar, director of Nature Connect.
Nandakumar Pawar, head of NGO Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishthan (SEAP), said, “The scene is worse between the old octroi check-post and Mankhurd where huge stretches of mangroves are being buried by the debris mafia. The PWD on its part is just leveling the debris to find an easy way to expand the highway.”
Officials from the state forest department said that the mangrove monitoring committee would look into the matter. Meanwhile, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation also acknowledged the rampant dumping of debris taking place across the mangroves of Vashi village.
“The forest department has already taken measures to curb the menace of debris at the mangrove site. The NMMC has also planned to construct a boundary wall along the highway to prevent illegal dumping in the mangroves,” said a NMMC official.