Mangroves along highway under threat | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Mangroves along highway under threat

mumbai Updated: May 11, 2012 02:00 IST
Nikhil M Ghanekar

Less than six months after the Bombay high court (HC) ruled that construction debris should not be dumped along roads adjacent to mangroves, the service road leading to Vikhroli from Bhandup along the eastern express highway is a mass of cement bags and rubble.

Vanashakti, a non-profit (NGO), complained that over the past two months, there has been large-scale dumping of debris on the road. On Thursday, the NGO that works on environmental issues, claimed that the dumping violates the 2005 HC order, which prohibits dumping of debris within 50m of mangroves.

"The HC had clearly said that roads leading to mangroves should be barricaded to prevent entry of trucks carrying such debris. The dumping could hamper the growth of mangroves," said Stalin D, director (projects), Vanashakti.

Mangroves act as a buffer between land and sea and help prevent floods.

This is the second time the organisation has reported against illegal dumping along the stretch. Following the complaint, the public works department (PWD), which maintains highways, is planning to install close-circuit television cameras (CCTV) to identify offenders, because they don't have the manpower to patrol the highways. PWD also claimed that illegal dumping of construction debris is a widespread menace along the Sion-Panvel highway. "We have written to our electrical department to get estimates for installing CCTV's. Recently, we also employed our own staff to patrol the stretch between Bhandup and Vikhroli," said RK Jawanjal, executive engineer, PWD.