Coking coal stored in the open on land belonging to the Mumbai Port Trust has caused the death of mangroves at Sewri Bay, a preliminary analysis of soil samples has revealed.
Hindustan Times had highlighted the destruction of 30 acres of mangroves at Sewri on February 28. The Bombay high court took suo motu cognisance of the report on March 2 and issued notices to the port trust and Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority, asking them to file replies in two weeks.
The study, conducted by NGO Vanashakti, reveals the soil in the area is turning acidic. The chemical analysis also shows high carbon content and sulphur traces.
The carbon particles are believed to have come from the coking coal. "Physical choking due to excessive deposition of coke particles in the soil has hardened the wetlands. There is no doubt coking coal is the culprit," said Stalin D, project director, Vanashakti.