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A first in Navi Mumbai: 4 held for dumping debris in mangroves

Even though 30 first information reports were filed this year for this crime, no arrests had been made due to lack of evidence

mumbai Updated: Oct 26, 2018 23:47 IST
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Navi Mumbai,mangroves
Last year, over 200 mangroves trees near Vashi railway station in Navi Mumbai withered due to plastic and other garbage dumped near them.(REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO/HT FILE)

Two transporters and two drivers were arrested for dumping debris in the mangroves near Vashi railway station on Thursday. This was the first arrest of this kind in the satellite city this year, a senior official said.

The arrested transporters have been identified as Raj Patil, 35, and Pramesh Bhoir, 30. The drivers are Vitthal Jadhav, 40 and Dayanand Kamble, 51. Forest officials booked them under section 26 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927. Two dumpers used in the crime were also seized. The four were produced before the judicial court on Friday and have been remanded to the custody of the forest department for a day. “We received the tip-off around 10am. The culprits were dumping debris in an area between Vashi station and Kerala House,” said Prakash Chaudhary, range forest officer of Navi Mumbai mangrove cell. “It appears the debris came from a construction site at Turbhe,” he said.

Even though 30 first information reports were filed this year for this crime, no arrests have been made due to lack of evidence. To this end, authorities in Navi Mumbai have developed a network of informers which they say appears to be effective in terms of protecting the mangroves.

Last year, over 200 mangroves trees near Vashi station withered due to plastic and other garbage dumped near them. Vilash Mhatre, 44, an activist from Ghansoli, said, “The illegal dumping of debris is still rampant near Ghansoli, Kopar Khairane and Nerul. But we are glad the forest department finally chalked out a mechanism to tackle the menace.”

First Published: Oct 26, 2018 23:47 IST