With only two days left before the Supreme Court's (SC) deadline to restore the Dahisar mangroves ends, work of clearing debris and breaking bunds to allow seawater to flow into the 430-acres mangrove vegetation adjoining the Gorai creek is far from over.
According to officials in the suburban collector's office, Kandivli-based Ravi Builders has completed 45% work till date.
As the March 31 deadline nears, preparations are underway at the collector's office to take over the process to revive the destroyed green patch.
"The builder has not demolished the new bunds that he had built. Even the amount of debris removed from the site is less than 50%," said a government official on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Suburban collector Nirmal Deshmukh was not available for comment.
Last week, civic officials took stock of the work that the builder had completed and prepared an inventory of the manpower and machines needed to clear the area.
"Early next month, the collector will conduct a meeting with various officials to chalk out a plan on the restoration process," the official said.
Taking cognisance of the destruction of mangroves, the SC on January 31 ordered builder Jayesh Shah to restore the area as on January 2010. If Shah failed to keep with the deadline, the collector's office would have to undertake the restoration process and recover the money from the builder.
"Fortunately, seawater entered the mangroves due to the high tide on the supermoon night," said Harish Pandey of the New Link Road Residents Forum.
"The intense force of the tide broke the clay bunds. For the first time since May 2010, we saw water enter the dry patch. At least 50% of the mangroves now have access to water," he added.
Residents had alleged that the builder had made no effort to open bunds and mangroves were dying because they were being deprived of water.
"The scale at which the builder had dumped the debris is not in line with the excavation process. And the loss of mangroves cannot be compensated," said Pandey.