Fresh plea on destruction of Dahisar mangroves | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Fresh plea on destruction of Dahisar mangroves

mumbai Updated: Jul 02, 2010 01:15 IST
Snehal Rebello

The New Link Road Forum comprising residents of Dahisar has filed a fresh petition in the Bombay High Court highlighting the destruction of mangroves in Dahisar.

The petition, filed in addition to an ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court concerning a mangrove patch in Dahisar, is likely to be heard on Friday.

On June 28, the Supreme Court had ordered that ongoing construction activity in a patch of the Dahisar mangroves be stopped. But on Thursday, local residents once again spotted movement of trucks and earthmovers in the area.

When residents saw trucks and JCB vans entering the road that opens to the 400 acres of mangroves they informed collector, Nirmal Deshmukh, and the sub-divisional officer.

“We have deputed our men in the area. Any activity is a violation of the status quo passed by the Supreme Court and will brought to the notice of the apex court,” said Deshmukh.

He could not confirm whether the trucks and JCB vans were carrying out fresh dumping in the area.

“We could make out what the trucks were doing since the height of the mangroves is about 50 feet, any activity beyond 200 metres is not visible from our homes overlooking the mangrove patch,” said Harish Pandey of the New Link Road Forum.

On June 28, the vacation bench of the SC ordered status quo for one month on the construction activity in the mangrove area till the next hearing.

An affidavit filed by the collector in the apex court states that under the guise of repairing an old bund, the builder has constructed a new bund. The affidavit also states that the builder has the intention to kill all the mangrove vegetation across 175 hectares by obstructing the natural flow of seawater.

Also, that the builder has excavated and filled 5661 metric tonnes of stones, gravel and sand as against the permitted 500 metric tones, the affidavit alleges. Over the past 18 months, local activists have been tracking the destruction of mangroves.

A Kandivali-based builder began repairs of the bund, which has been defunct since 1993, on April 10 following a SC ruling in his favour. The ruling had categorically directed the petitioner not to destroy the mangroves. The builder has filed a contempt plea in the SC after the collector issued a stop work order alleging destruction of mangroves.