State investigates destruction of Gorai mangroves

Mar 16, 2017, 09:41 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

A day after this paper's report, the Mangroves Cell is probing illegal dumping at Gorai, while activists have pointed out a similar threat at Charkop too

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
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."

Also read: Activists raise an alarm to save Gorai mangroves

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.

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