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Embarrassed BMC promises swift action to save vanishing mangroves

Local corporator and ward committee members demand punishment for those guilty of destroying the forests; BMC to send experts to site soon

Taking a serious note of an article published in mid-day, which brought to light how an acre of mangroves cover had been destroyed by illegal dumping of debris at Evershine Nagar in Malad, local corporator Cyril D’Souza yesterday raised the issue at the P-North ward level committee meeting - demanding strict action against the culprits.

Also read: How 1 acre of mangroves vanished in nine years

The story first appeared in the May 29 issue of mid-day
The story first appeared in the May 29 issue of mid-day

Speaking to sunday mid-day, D’Souza, an independent corporator and the ward committee chairman, said, “It is shocking to see how the mangrove cover has been destroyed due to the illegal dumping. I have raised this issue in the ward meeting. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner along with a team of officials will visit the spot in coming days.”

Meanwhile, addressing a meeting of the Tree Authority on Friday, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte promised swift action to protect and conserve existing mangroves within city limits. “We will schedule a meeting after consulting government officials and environment experts,” Kunte said in the meeting. He assured the committee members that an expert team would soon visit the areas identified as vulnerable.

The issue of mangroves being willfully destroyed by illegal encroachers and the builders lobby is not new. BJP corporator Manisha Chaudhary and former mayor Shubha Raul have been raising the issue of vanishing mangroves at Borivli and Dahisar for months, pointing out that mangroves needs to be protected.

The sudden activity within the BMC and promises to save the mangroves comes close on the heels of mid-day’s report on Thursday where Google Earth images from 2004 and 2013 revealed how garbage and slums have now replaced the greenery in Evershine Nagar in Malad (W) — with the BMC playing the role of a dumb onlooker.

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