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BMC fights for mangroves

The civic body is apparently mulling over imposing strict penalties on those littering mangrove areas in an attempt to save the dwindling forest cover along the city’s shoreline

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wants to ‘save’ the mangroves that dot the city’s coastline for over 5,000
hectares.

Mangroves dot the city’s coastline for over 5,000 hectares. File Pic

The trigger apparently was a visit by BMC officials to the Gorai and Manori beaches in January, where they found delta-like land being formed, because of which seawater, that is the only source of lifeline for the mangroves, could not reach the shore.

The mangroves in Gorai and Manori are spread across 440 hectares of which about 60 hectares has already turned barren. “Although it is the responsibility of the central government to help preserve the mangroves, the BMC can help,” said a senior official from the civic body’s garden department.

When contacted, SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, said the BMC wants to conserve mangroves. “We will stop the destruction of mangroves by initiating strict action against people who dump debris inside the forests,”
said Srinivas.

“We should not just conserve our mangroves but get the government to give it a national heritage status,” said Shubha Raul, former mayor and Shiv Sena corporator from Dahisar.

Tree census underway
Welcoming the civic body’s move to start a tree census, members of local residents forums said special care should be taken so that mangrove areas were not sold to industries. “ If the BMC wants to save mangroves it should first stop the destruction of mangroves by not allowing any construction in CRZ area,” said Harish Pandey, a member of the New Link Road Resident Forum.

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