Environmentalist writes to authorities asking that the dumping ground be shut down, shares satellite images showing destruction of the green cover in the CRZ area
A satellite image of Diva dumping ground from 2008
Environmentalists have alleged that a huge portion of mangroves was destroyed due to the unscientific dumping of municipal solid waste in the creek and mangroves of Diva which fall under the coastal regulation zone (CRZ).
Stalin D of Vanashakti on Tuesday wrote an email to the secretary of Central Pollution Control Bureau (CPCB), regional officer of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), chief conservator of forests of Mangrove Cell, Maharashtra Forest Department, Thane district collector, and deputy conservator of forests of Mangrove Cell demanding shutting down of the Diva dumping ground, which he claimed was environmentally hazardous.
In the letter, the activist claimed that on September 27, last year, he highlighted how illegal, unscientific dumping of municipal solid waste was being done in CRZ areas, in the creek and mangroves of Diva. The environmentalist expressed disappointment that nothing has changed on the ground despite highlighting the issues three months ago, and claimed that the situation has worsened.
The satellite image of the ground from 2023 shows the rampant destruction of mangroves in the area
“The acts were done by the Thane Municipal Corporation, which set up a garbage dumping ground in mangrove areas and is illegally operating it. A large mangrove area has already been destroyed,” the letter read. Stalin also attached with the letter Google Earth satellite images for the authorities to understand the loss of mangroves at the site.
He wrote, “Destroying mangroves and coastal wetlands is illegal and contrary to the orders of the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay. Also the municipal solid waste handling rules, the Environment Protection Act, the Maharashtra Prevention of Non-Degradable Garbage Control Act 2006, the Air Pollution Prevention Act, and the Wildlife Protection Act are all being violated on this site.”
According to Stalin D, the leachate from the dumping ground is flowing into the creek and has killed all the fish there. “Further, illegal sand mining using suction pumps is being done at the same location. Illegal slums have mushroomed in close proximity to this site, and people are living in this monumental health hazard zone. Fires have been set off in the garbage heaps, and columns of toxic smoke are seen arising from the site,” he alleged.
The environmentalist has appealed to the authorities to stop the dumping of waste at the site and to restore the mangroves after removing the waste. “Needless to say, if no action is seen on the ground, including prosecution of the guilty municipal corporation officials and restoration of the site, we will be constrained to move the courts for environmental justice,” he added.
Day in 2022 Stalin D wrote to authorities before Jan