As per law, construction activity or industrial activity is prohibited within 30 meters of a riverbank. The land in question has already seen destruction of dense mangrove cover in 2007.
On Wednesday, the encroachers had used up all the debris to lay a foundation on the river’s narrow Mahim-bound flow. Locals residing in Rajiv Gandhi Nagar slums had informed the MNPS authorities about the encroachments happening in their backyard and they were alarmed by the developments.
“The state authorities need to take action in this matter otherwise this whole plot of land will be utilized for illegal development and to choke the river,” said Avinash Kubal, director, MNPS. Though MMRDA uses the road adjacent to the encroached land for annual de-silting operations, it is the revenue department that is its legal custodian. MMRDA authorities were no-committal about looking into the issue. “We don’t yet know the details of the developments happening on the said plot and we can look into it when we have a clear idea,” said SB Tamsekar, chief engineer, MMRDA.