Just ten days after the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority intervened to stop dumping of debris near mangroves at the proposed dumping ground site in Kanjurmarg, residents complained of fresh dumping incidents on Wednesday.
“We spotted hundreds of trucks moving into the area with debris and mud. There were earthmovers working to level the ground,” said D Stalin, environmental activist from the non-government organisation (NGO) Vanashakti, which works for the cause of forest conservation. “This is work adjacent to the mangroves. It’s brazen flouting of norms.”
According to a 2005 Bombay High Court order, work can be carried out only 50 metres away from mangroves as they fall under the Coastal Regulation Zone-I (CRZ-I), an ecologically sensitive area. Earlier this year, the court had again banned all non-forestry activities in mangrove areas.
State environment secretary Valsa Nair Singh said she was yet to receive a report. “We will look into the matter. While the civic body can level the barren site, they cannot dump debris on the mangroves.”
Last week, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority issued orders to stop work on the 68-hectare site earmarked for a landfill in Kanjurmarg.
Following which, the work had stopped and there was no movement for one week. The collector had handed over the site, which is surrounded by a thick stretch of mangroves, to the civic body.
In March 2009, the civic body got the Coastal Regulation Zone clearance from the Centre for the site. Earlier, in 2007, the state had asked for 141 hectares at Kanjurmarg, which falls under forestland, to be handed over to the civic body. Half of the 141 hectares falls under CRZ-I.