Maharashtra government decides to form task force, set-up helpline to curb mangrove destruction | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra government decides to form task force, set-up helpline to curb mangrove destruction

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced to constitute a task force and set-up a helpline to curb the destruction of mangroves in coastal areas of Mumbai, Thane and other parts of the state.

mumbai Updated: Mar 22, 2017 14:34 IST
Surendra P Gangan
With a space crunch in and around Mumbai, realty vultures are preying on mangroves, putting coastal eco-system in jeopardy.
With a space crunch in and around Mumbai, realty vultures are preying on mangroves, putting coastal eco-system in jeopardy.

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced to constitute a task force and set-up a helpline to curb the destruction of mangroves in coastal areas of Mumbai, Thane and other parts of the state. In the legislative assembly, state environment minister Ramdas Kadam said he will lead a team of legislators and officials to various sites in Thane where alleged mangrove destructions had been witnessed.

The minister’s decision came after Yogesh Sagar, presiding officer of the assembly, asked the government to form a task force and start a helpline to prevent marine destruction.

With a space crunch in and around Mumbai, realty vultures are preying on mangroves, putting coastal eco-system in jeopardy.

The issue of mangroves destruction along the Thane and Vasai creek was raised by legislators during the question hour. Sanjay Kelkar, BJP MLA from Thane, alleged that construction of hotels and godowns had become the new norm along the coastal areas. He said no action had been taken by district officials despite complaints of the rampant reclamation by builders. He also demanded to raze unauthorised buildings.

Replying to Kelkar, Kadam informed the lower house that the action had been taken against 17 people in three villages in Thane. “Strict action will be taken against officials who failed to act against violators,” he said, referring to his visit with a delegation of lawmakers and officials.

Minister of state for environment and mining Pravin Pote Patil said the government would check if the action against culprits was possible under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act. He said the environment department will take the help of the other departments to launch joint efforts to protect the marine shrubs and plants.

Why you should care

Mangroves act as a buffer zone between land and sea, protecting the land from erosion

They absorb the impact of cyclones

They are a breeding ground for a variety of marine animals

They also carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from t

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