Mumbai: Despite receiving a letter almost a month back from Plants and Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) about alleged destruction of mangroves, the Mangrove Cell has allegedly not been taking action against people damaging the ‘protected forest’ of Kandivali and Gorai. The Cell has failed to take even a single step against the illegal destruction of mangroves in these areas.
According to PAWS, the mangroves in the areas of Manori—Gorai belt are being destroyed through various means. The organisation in March had written a letter informing the Cell about the alleged destruction of the mangroves by cutting, destroying, building bund to stop water flow, releasing sewage lines and dumping garbage at Charkop and Gorai areas.
In a letter to the Mangrove Cell, suburban collector and local ward officer, PAWS—Mumbai identified two locations with ongoing construction work within mangrove forests, which is a violation of environment laws and Bombay high court (HC) rules.
“Around 2,000 mangroves are chopped by filling land and dumping debris in Gorai and Charkop areas. Such acts are threatening marine life and are also disrupting the ecosystem, flora and fauna,” said Subramanian Kunju, secretary, PAWS—Mumbai.
Mr Kunju in his first letter had alleged that unidentified people set up watchtowers at the site to check the movement of citizens so that they couldn’t identify the violations. However, these letters still lie unheard.
N. Vasudevan, chief conservator of forest of Mangrove Cell, said, “The land near Essel World is a private land hence the Cell is not authorised to take action for the issues prevailing there. However, we have received the Charkop complaints and I have instructed my staff to find out about it.”