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When the citizens of Mumbai will zip past the Wadala Truck Terminal road from the Bhakti Park monorail station on Sunday, they will be greeted by a mass of construction debris along the route, instead of an uninterrupted view of mangroves.
Construction debris that has been dumped near mangroves adjacent to Bhakti Park monorail station.
Besides being an eyesore, the debris thrown is a violation of the Bombay high court orders that bans its dumping or any construction activity within 50 metres of mangroves, which were accorded the status of reserved forests last year.
The debris from the monorail construction site has been dumped on a stretch nearly 100 metres away from the station towards the Wadala end. In addition to this, further on the road near the Eastern Freeway, debris from the underconstruction creek bridge has been dumped within 10 feet of the mangrove forests that are marked by the forest department’s boundary poles. The bridge is one of the two ramps that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) – the project proponent for Mumbai Monorail and Eastern Freeway – is constructing over the Mahul creek for motorists travelling between Sion and Panjarpol.
However, when asked, the MMRDA officials denied dumping any debris from the construction sites. “We have finished all the civil work on the monorail, and we don’t have any debris at our site. So there is no question of dumping,” said PRK Murthy, head of transport and communications, MMRDA.
The MMRDA officials associated with the Eastern Freeway project too denied it. “We have not dumped any debris near our project site, and I am not aware of any such development,” said Sharad Sabnis, chief engineer, MMRDA.
Reacting to t he i ssue, N Vasudevan, chief conservator of forests, state mangrove cell, said, “We will examine if there is a violation under the forest conservation act and the Indian forest act, and we will take action if necessary.”
Illegal dumping of construction debris has been largely responsible for damaging the mangrove cover in the city. It chokes the roots of the coastal vegetation and eventually kills it by blocking the flow of water.