The lockdown is not a time for picnics

Updated: Apr 23, 2020, 07:26 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

There is fear that these parts will be completely taken away if action is not taken now. Besides the illegality, it will also upset the ecological balance in the few green spots we have left.

During the monsoon, if high tide is accompanied by heavy rainfall, water overflows from Vihar Lake. File pic
During the monsoon, if high tide is accompanied by heavy rainfall, water overflows from Vihar Lake. File pic

The lockdown is not stopping locals around Vihar lake from having picnics in the vicinity. A report in this paper stated that according to sources, they have increased.

The report, buttressed by pictures, show people treating this period as an opportunity for an outing.

A more worrying aspect of the report also says that besides the illegal fishing and picnics, some illegal hutments are being constructed near the lake or and some distance away. Some chunks of land are being barricaded with wooden poles and green cloth and hutments are being made inside.

There is fear that these parts will be completely taken away if action is not taken now. Besides the illegality, it will also upset the ecological balance in the few green spots we have left.

We do hope the authorities investigate these violations amid a lockdown and take action.

More importantly, they must move quickly when it comes to allegations of illegal hutments.

Taking a macro view of this, there is a possibility that open grounds or green spots may see encroachment during this time.

Those who seek to take unfair advantage do know that the hardworking police force is stretched thin these days. It would be entirely possible, in fact, an opportune time to slip under the radar, and usurp a piece of land.

Those who work towards ensuring that Mumbai's few open spaces remain that way will vouch for how difficult it is to remove encroachments once they take root. There is a real danger that given the crisis, this may turn into an open season for encroachers.

Eternal vigilance must not flag and complaints must be checked for credibility and acted upon.

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