The local collector says the drive was only to remove encroachments on the land that belongs to government. Pic/Satej Shinde
After nearly two decades, six-acres of a wetland in Charkop Sector 2, which belongs to the collector, has been cleared of encroachment after a demolition drive on Thursday morning. However, authorities are yet to confirm whether it is a wetland.
Environmentalist Reji Abraham, President of the NGO United Association for Social, Educational and Public Welfare Trust said, "As per the recommendations by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), the land should be declared as a wetland. However, authorities have been delaying the process of the identification of this land as wetland because they are hand-in-glove with the builder mafia. We are just hoping that the authorities uphold the laws."
N Vasudevan, chief conservator of forests, mangroves cell, who is also a member of wetland committee, said, "It is an environmental concern, but the BNHS certification does not have a legal authority. Hence, the action that needs to be taken has to be decided by the collector's office." Collector Deependra Singh Kushwah said the drive was only to remove encroachments on the land that belongs to government. Kushwah said, "The government has its own authorities to take final decision. We are yet in the process of identifying whether the specific land in Charkop falls under the category of wetland."