MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has acted on a complaint by environment activists against the the wanton destruction of mangroves in Mumbai Metropolitan region (MMR), including Navi Mumbai.
Responding a joint email from thenatureconnect.com and NGO Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan, CM’s office has said that the issue has been referred to Urban Development Departmenbt-2 for further action.
“We as a society have been systematically destroying mangroves in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Be it in the island city, the western and eastern suburbs or for that matter Navi Mumbai – mangroves have been the target of destruction for several years now,” said the mail sent by Navi Mumbai-based social communication activist B N Kumar.
Debris is the inevitable by-product of construction. Debris mafia has been recklessly and rampantly killing mangroves by dumping the construction waste along the creeks and the sea, the Kumar said and pointed out: “Now, an astonishing fact has come to light. The government infrastructure projects neglecting mangroves and wetlands.”
“In Uran area, we found massive destruction of mangroves and the Regional Forest Officer himself has confirmed the killing of as many as 4,500 plants in 4.5 hectares. Local residents have named JNPT SEZ for the rampant killing of mangroves which the regional forest officer has confirmed,” the letter said.
Even a school student having EVS as a subject would tell us the importance f mangroves for the protection the City’s environment, the coastline and for maintenance of bio-diversity.
Lamenting that “Yet, none cares,” Kumar asked: “Have we forgotten the Chowpatty and Mithi floods?” “Do we have to wait for another tragedy to realize and then plan steps to protect the mangroves?”
The various officials will tell you that the mangrove re-plantation is nothing but a sham. Mangroves cannot be grown on rocky areas. They need natural surroundings.
Through this petition, we request you to look into the issue of ecological destruction and come out with a clear cut policy to protect environment – be it mangroves, rivers, wet lands or even the hills. Parsik Hill, as we have pointed out earlier, has been the victim of reckless quarrying for four decades.
Kumar, who also edits an environment-based website thenatureconnect.com, tagged his social media campaign to major political parties such as the BJP, the Congress, Shiv Sena influencers like Amitabh Bachhan, Anand Mahindra, Aditya Thackeray to help promote the cause.