The cell had done recce of the area for the past 10 days to prepare demolition plan and give the residents enough time to vacate the premises; activists welcome move
The huts were demolished in the presence of cops, BMC, forest dept and Mangrove Cell staffers, on Thursday
Taking serious note of the illegal encroachments on mangrove land in Versova, the Mangrove Cell has begun a demolition drive and cleared 51 huts on Thursday.
Virendra Tiwari, additional principal chief conservator of forests and head of Mangrove Cell, said, “On Thursday our team along with revenue department and police staff removed 51 hutments that had encroached on the mangroves forest area in versova.” Deputy Conservator of Forest Adarsh Reddy has shared photos of the demolition on Twitter.
Green activists welcomed the action. Environmentalist Zoru Bhathena tweeted, “Thank You Mr Reddy, We would request you’ll to form a system to prevent such encroachments from growing. Removing one hut, when built, is easy. Removing 50 huts comes with its own other problems. Why allow such problems to form. Timely steps to prevent encroachments must be taken. [sic]”
The forest department and Mangrove Cell have been taking action against illegal encroachments. As part of it, Mangrove Cell had been doing recce in the area since the past 10 days to prepare a strategy for demolition.
Range Forest Officer Shankar Deshpande from Mangrove Cell said, “The demolition of the 51 hutments was carried out after giving them adequate time to vacate the illegal premises. Over 50 staff members including the ACF, police officers, staff from revenue department and BMC played a very important role in the demolition drive.” The cell will deploy guards near the location to ensure the hutments do not come up again.
No. of officials present during the demolition drive