Mumbai: Versova’s mangroves being laid to waste due to debris dumping

16 April,2024 03:22 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Ranjeet Jadhav

Activity, which commenced about two to three years ago, has intensified in the past 10 days

Satellite images from 2009, 2018 and 2024 reveal illegal reclamation expanding at Versova village

The attempts to illegally reclaim the marshland near Versova village by dumping debris are coming at the cost of mangroves. The existence of the mangroves on the huge patch of marshland near Versova village adjacent to Shiv Gully is threatened by the illegal dumping of debris.

A nature lover from Seven Bungalows requesting anonymity said, "I have been staying in the Seven Bungalows area and have been a regular visitor to the Versova village. There is a healthy mangrove patch next to Shiv Gully and for the last two to three years, the local land mafia has been systematically destroying it by dumping debris so that new structures can be constructed. The shocking fact is that the authorities are least bothered about mangroves and are hand in glove with the mafia." Another concerned citizen who did not wish to be named told mid-day that a turf for cricket was also constructed illegally on the CRZ area adjacent to the Shiv Gully and in the last ten days a huge amount of debris was also dumped on the CRZ and mangroves patch in the same area.

Environmentalist Stalin D also visited the location recently to see the dumping and encroachments himself. Stalin D has clicked the pictures of the location and has written an email to the Konkan commissioner, Mangroves Cell, Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority, Mumbai suburban Collector, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, BMC and Mumbai police commissioner.

The illegal dumping of debris is destroying the mangroves at Versova village in Mumbai

"This is to seek your urgent intervention in the rampant widespread dumping of debris and waste on Mangroves in Versova. Rapidly increasing encroachments are moving into mangroves and large-scale violation of CRZ laws and violation of the High Court orders protecting Mangroves is happening at the site. We are attaching geo-tagged photos of the site for easy location," Stalin stated in his email. The environmentalist has also appealed to the authorities to remove the dumped material, restore the mangroves and prosecute those who are occupying the spaces which have been illegally reclaimed.

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