Civic staff booked for hacking mangroves

Sandhya Nair, Times News Network, June 27 2017

Link to news article

Three Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation ( MBMC) officers, including the deputy municipal commissioner, have been booked for allegedly destroying mangrove cover.

The Bhayander police have registered a case under the Bombay Environment Protection Act against deputy municipal commissioner Sambhaji Panpatte, assistant health officer Rajkumar Kamble, sanitary inspector Arvind Chikle and contractor Narayan Singh for allegedly hacking mangroves in Murdha creek of Bhayander. No one has been arrested in the case.

The civic administration had filed an affidavit in the Bombay high court for permission to cut mangroves growing in 12 nullahs in the region. The municipality told the court that the mangroves growing in the nullahs were obstructing flow of water, especially during the monsoon. Environmentalists alleged that the Murdha creek was shown as a nullah in the affidavit filed before the court. Environmentalists clicked pictures of the destruction of green cover and furnished the same to the Thane collectorate. Activists of the Bombay Environmental Action Group, an NGO fighting for mangroves visted Murdha creek and found large swathes of mangroves destroyed.

The civic administration told the court that the mangroves were only trimmed.

In April, the civic body, police and collectorate began putting up boards warning against the destruction of mangroves.

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