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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

22 days on, builder yet to follow Supreme Court order

Snehal Rebello, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 23, 2011
First Published: 01:25 IST(23/2/2011) | Last Updated: 01:27 IST(23/2/2011)

Almost 22 days after the Supreme Court directed Kandivli-based Ravi Builders to restore destroyed mangroves at Gorai Creek, the builder is yet to open culverts that will allow seawater to flow into the mangrove patch.

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Residents alleged the seawater channels are still blocked.

"We have taken photographs of a virtually dry pond to prove that the bunds are not opened. Under the garb of the court order, the builder is only excavating debris from insignificant and irrelevant spots," said Harish Pandey of the New Link Road Residents' Forum.

"The scarce seawater that's left in the pond will soon dry up if the bunds are not opened," he added.

Even though the developer, Jayesh Shah, has begun removing debris from the affected site, residents fear the delay in opening the culverts will lead to the death of mangroves spread across 430 acres.

While suburban collector, Nirmal Deshmukh, was not available for comment, an official from the department who did not wish to be named said a team will be sent to inspect the implementation of the Supreme Court order.

On January 31, the Supreme Court ordered the builder to restore the mangroves within 60 days. This includes opening all blocked culverts to allow seawater intrusion and removing excess debris.

The sub-divisional officer and tehsildar at Borivli were to monitor the implementation of the Supreme Court order.

If the builder failed to do the job properly, the apex court directed the suburban collector to restore the area and collect revenue from Shah.

"About 30% of the time frame set by the Supreme Court is over. At this rate, it will be an impossible task to restore the original status within the remaining days," said Pandey.

"The government should be inspecting the site at least once every week."


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