After MiD DAY reported that debris from construction sites was being dumped in the open plot adjacent to mangrove hub in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), authorities have swung into action and started the work of removing the materials from the site. The debris is being transported to a dumping ground in Malad.
Last week, MiD DAY had reported that trucks full of debris from construction sites were being abandoned on the collector’s land near BKC under the cover of night, threatening the health of the mangrove swamp, and attracting squatters to construct shanties on the mounds of waste (‘Nighttime debris attack on BKC mangrove hub’, April 26). Stirred into action following the report, officials at the suburban collector’s office
have ordered for the removal of the debris from the plantation.
Speaking to MiD DAY, environmentalist and wildlife expert Krishna Tiwari said, “At present we have very little mangrove cover remaining in and around Mumbai. Destruction of mangroves will have an adverse effect on the ecology and all the government agencies, which have been allotted land adjacent to mangrove hubs should see to it that there is no dumping there.” MiD DAY visited the site to check out the progress made, and noticed that debris was in the process of being cleared and transported. The JCB machine operator said, “We have been assigned the job of removing all the debris, load it on the dumper and transport it to a dumping site.”
Every day, eight to ten trucks are being loaded with the materials and sent to the dumping ground in Malad. The officers have also asked the watchmen of the nearby residential building to keep a vigilant eye on the plot in future, and take note of the licence plate number of the culprits if they return, so they can be nabbed.
While the suburban district collector chose not to respond to calls, MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawathkar said, “The aim of MMRDA has always been to safeguard forest and the environments. We have a huge expanse of land in BKC forested with mangroves, and so from time to time we visit these places to see if everything is in place or not. We also make sure that no construction material is dumped near mangroves.”