MMRDA to take up cudgels for mangroves along Vakola nullah

Mar 12, 2014, 08:41 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Reacting to a mid-day front page report about how illegal dumping was endangering mangroves near the nullah running through BKC, the body will write to the Mangroves Cell to take necessary action

Taking serious note of the threat to mangroves after this newspaper published a report, the Mumbai Metro-politan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has decided to write a letter to the Mangroves Cell to take necessary steps to stop illegal dumping near the Vakola nullah stretch passing through Bandra-Kurla Complex.

Mangroves in danger: Trucks have carved out a pathway from the main road to go towards the banks of Vakola nullah at BKC and unload their garbage at the spot

mid-day had reported how the walkway adjacent to Mithi river and Vakola nullah at BKC had turned into an open-air toilet and dumping ground (‘MMRDA thinks this is a walkway’, March 7). Locals had said that trucks had created an illegal opening towards the walkway from the main highway, and were dumping construction material and debris there every night.

MMRDA had already written to the forest department earlier; it has decided to send a reminder again, this time to the Mangroves Cell, which has an office in Bandra (East). MMRDA’s Joint Project Director Dilip Kawathkar said, “Our senior officials will write to the Mangroves Cell, asking them to prevent dumping along the Vakola nullah stretch passing through BKC, in order to protect mangroves there. We will also ask them to install gates at the road near the nullah, so that dumpers are not able to use the stretch.”

Mid-day report on the practice. Pic/Shadab Khan

Taking steps
The body has decided to install fences along the walkway near Mithi River, to prevent entry at night. They will also clean the dirty areas, and clip overgrowth of shrubs and grass so people can use the path for walking again.
Sources from MMRDA added that the additional metropolitan commissioner visited the location and asked the officials in charge of the Mithi River beautification to make the necessary improvements at the earliest.

The land cell of MMRDA has also been asked to patrol the area. Those found dumping or littering would be fined, officials said.

N Vasudev, chief conservator of forests, Mangroves Cell, said, “If it is a notified forest land, we will start patrlling the area to check dumping.”

Amount MMRDA spent on beautification along Mithi River and Vakola nullah

On the project

MMRDA, on the suggestion of the Central Water and Power Station (CPWRS), started developing a wooden bund, a gabion wall and service roads along Mithi River. The gabion wall was intended to protect the mangroves. One part of this project was the 900-metre-long walkway along the two water bodies. The project was completed in 2012. 

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