State investigates destruction of Gorai mangroves
A day after this paper highlighted the destruction of mangroves at the hands of the land mafia in Gorai, the Mangroves Cell yesterday directed its officials to personally visit the spot and initiate action if they come across any violation of rules. Meanwhile, activists have alerted the authorities of a similar threat to the mangroves at Charkop as well.
The land mafia built bunds at the mangrove stretch in Charkop to dry out and starve the trees
Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Makarand Ghodke from the state Mangroves Cell confirmed, "We received a complaint regarding the destruction of mangroves, and our team has visited the locations mentioned in the letter and investigation are on."
mid-day had reported yesterday that the members of the Plant and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) had visited the mangroves and found that debris was being dumped there illegally, allegedly in order to reclaim the land. They also alleged that a road had been built there to make way for the dumpers.
At Charkop too
PAWS has found the mangrove forest in Charkop (Sector 8) is facing a similar threat from land mafia. Sunish Subramanian Kanju, from the NGO, said, "We received information that the mangroves in the Charkop area are being killed by restricting the entry of saline water, which is essential to keep the mangroves alive. We visited the spot and saw that mud bunds were made to stop the water, so that the mangroves on the other side would die. This proves that the land mafia is involved in the systematic killing of mangroves."
It was also found that sewage water was being released in the mangrove patch, where garbage was also being dumped. The team also clicked a picture of the same and wrote to the Mangroves Cell, Collector's office, Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) and the local police, to inform them about it.