Residents of Yogi Nagar in Borivli have alleged that mangroves on a five-acre plot along the nearby Gorai creek are being buried under debris.
“Several trucks have come into the area in the past month to dump debris on the mangrove patch,” said Prashant Naik, chairman of Ram Tower, a building adjacent to the site.
The Gorai creek has a thick mangrove cover of 1,200 acres.
Last month, residents filed complaints against the “illegal” destruction of mangroves with the MHB Colony police station and local corporator, Sadanand Surve. Residents said the corporator had acted on their complaint and sent an official to stop the dumping of debris but it resumed in a couple of days.
“The New Link Road Residents’ Forum [NLRRF] had complained to us about the dumping and it has stopped for the past two to three days. We are yet to ascertain who is behind the dumping,” said Bharat Kumbhar, acting senior police inspector, MHB Colony Police station.
The road leading to the mangrove patch has a board that states that the area is forestland and bears the forest department survey number 147. “The area clearly falls under the coastal regulatory zone [CRZ 1], where no development is allowed,” said Harish Pandey a member of the NLRRF, which has also been fighting to protect 430 acres of mangroves in Dahisar. “Dumping has stopped for the last couple of days but some action should be taken against the culprits and the mangroves should be re-planted.”
Residents claimed that the land adjacent to the mangroves was reclaimed seven to eight months ago and is now used as an assembling site for a proposed skywalk.
Naik claimed that the work being carried out violates a Bombay high court order, which prohibits non-forest activity on CRZ land.
“Dhanashree Developers, which won the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority contract to build the Borivli skywalk, is carrying on fabrication work on the CRZ 1 site,” Pandey alleged.
S Borkar, owner of Dhanashree Developers, denied this. “We own a part of this land and it is in the residential zone. The CRZ area starts after our plot,” he said.
Tehsildar Vinod Rane said an inquiry was on and a detailed report will be ready in a day or two.