22 cases of wetland destruction reported in 2 months in Maharashtra | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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22 cases of wetland destruction reported in 2 months in Maharashtra

Mumbai city news: Investigation in 20 cases, reported in December 2016, still pending

mumbai Updated: Jun 27, 2017 10:09 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Konkan divisional commissioner ordered all district collectors to complete investigations into fresh and pending cases by July 22 —  the date for the next meeting
Konkan divisional commissioner ordered all district collectors to complete investigations into fresh and pending cases by July 22 — the date for the next meeting(HT photo )

Rampant destruction of mangrove forests continues across Maharashtra. While 22 cases were reported in the past two months, investigation in 20 others is pending since December 2016.

The cases were highlighted during a meeting held by the wetland redressal committee on Thursday. During the meeting, Konkan divisional commissioner ordered all district collectors to complete investigations into fresh and pending cases by July 22 — the date for the next meeting.

Speaking to HT, the Konkan deputy commissioner said action would be taken against officers for failing to do their job.

“Fresh cases of wetland destruction are being reported every month. It is crucial for the state to close all pending cases,” said Bhausaheb Dangade, Konkan deputy commissioner (revenue).

He added, “Orders have been issued to all collectors to submit reports pertaining wetland destruction and restoration at the earliest. They have also been asked to give a list of revenue officers who delayed or stalled action. Action will be taken against these officers in the next meeting.”

The action comes after non-governmental organisation (NGO) Vanashakti filed a complaint with the Konkan divisional commissioner on Tuesday. The complaint highlighted that despite several meetings, since December 2016, not a single wetland site was restored. The NGO pointed out eight pending cases at Kopri, Mira-Bhayander, Malad, Palghar, Vasai and Kahler in Thane.

“In the last few meetings, it was agreed that the pending reports would be submitted within eight days of the meeting. However, no report or action was taken even after a month,” said Stalin D of Vanshakti.

He also highlighted that the key stakeholders in the committee — Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority — have not attended a single meeting.

Stalin said apart from taking action against negligent officers, a number of steps were chalked out by the committee to protect wetlands. These measures would be announced through a notification after the next meeting.