Cases of mangroves’ destruction and encroachments near mudflats were reported at Borivli (West) and Charkop village in Kandivli on Monday.
The New Link Road Residents’ Forum (NLRRF) has filed complaints with local authorities on the destruction of mangroves, while locals living around Charkop have written to the municipal commissioner demanding stringent action against private builders and local authorities allegedly promoting the construction of illegal establishments in the area.
Harish Pandey, secretary, NLRRF said, “Trees on a six-acre area of mangroves near Dharma Nagar, Borivli (West), were hacked. We have filed a case with the local police and the revenue department on Monday.”
“We have received a complaint and will inquire into it to verify the facts following which further investigations will begin,” said police sub-inspector Vijay Shinde of MHB police station.
According to residents living near Charkop village, illegal slums and commercial galas are being built near the mangroves.
“We have written a letter to the municipal commissioner to alert the authorities not to fall prey to the builder mafia, who use the slum mafia to destroy the mangroves,” said Reji Abraham, president, United Association for Social, Educational and Public Welfare Trust (UASEPW), a not-for-profit.
On April 10, civic officials from R south-ward demolished a few galas, which had recently come up after destroying mangroves. “We are aware of the encroachments. Over the past 10 days, we have carried out two demolition drives at the location. We will take further action if the problem persists at the site,” said Sahebrao Gaikwad, assistant commissioner, R south-ward, Kandivli (West).
Tanaji Patil, assistant conservator forest, mangroves cell, said, “Such violations have been taking place from Dahisar to Bandra on the western side and from Mulund to Bhandup on the central side.”
State government bodies like the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board should take action under the Environment Protection Act and the BMC should issue notices under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act to stop such violations, said Patil, adding, “We are helpless as these areas do not fall under the notified forest act.”