City collectorate confirms destruction of Sewri mangroves | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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City collectorate confirms destruction of Sewri mangroves

A team of officials from the city collectorate has confirmed the destruction of mangroves at Sewri Bay, the site of the Sewri Mangrove Park developed by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). The team had conducted a site inspection on Friday.

mumbai Updated: Mar 04, 2012 01:29 IST
HT Correspondent

A team of officials from the city collectorate has confirmed the destruction of mangroves at Sewri Bay, the site of the Sewri Mangrove Park developed by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). The team had conducted a site inspection on Friday.

On Saturday, members of the District Coastal Monitoring Committee chaired by the city collector Chandrashekar Oak decided to revisit the site on March 5.

“Though my team of officials said there is destruction of mangroves at Sewri Bay, we have to ascertain the source of pollution. Since we don’t have any technical experts on board, we decided to revisit the site on Monday along with some experts,” said Oak adding that members from the environment and forest departments along with civic officials will also be part of the monitoring committee team.

On Friday, the Bombay high court took suo motu cognisance of reports published in the Hindustan Times about the destruction of mangrove in the Sewri Bay and issued notices to the port trust and Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority.

The court has asked them to file their replies within two weeks. Damage to mangroves and carrying out non-forestry activities near mangrove areas is in violation of previous HC orders.

Last week, the forest department had also said mangroves were dying because of pollution from coking coal. Coking coal, which is soft bituminous coal, is heated to produce coke — a hard, grey, porous material — used to blast furnaces for extracting iron from the iron ore and steel-making.

On February 28, the Hindustan Times had reported that more than 30 acres of mangroves had died of pollution by what environmentalists believed was coking coal stored a few metres from the site.

Environmentalists also suspect that fly ash or chemicals released by industries at MbPT could be responsible for the damage to mangroves.