Gaimukh waterfront contractor booked for Thane mangrove destruction
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Gaimukh waterfront contractor booked for Thane mangrove destruction

The district authority claimed the civic body was equally responsible as the work was handed to the contractor over by the Thane Municipal Corporation

mumbai Updated: Sep 16, 2018 00:42 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Gaimukh waterfront,Thane,Thane municipal corporation
The contractor allegedly destroyed mangroves on the Nagla Bunder end of the Gaimukh waterfront.(Praful Gangurde/HT)

A case was registered against a Thane civic body-appointed contractor of Gaimukh waterfront development project after the district authority complained that he was destroying mangroves and violating coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms for the same.

The case is registered with the Kasarvadavli police station under the environment protection act. The district authority claimed the civic body was equally responsible as the work was handed to the contractor over by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).

This comes after activist Rohit Joshi on May 18 complained to the tehsildar’s office, after which a case was registered. Following this, the forest department, mangrove cell, district authority, revenue department and TMC conducted a joint survey of the project and found the mangroves on Gandhi Plot near Nagla Bunder were destroyed.

TMC has undertaken the development and the funding of the Gaimukh waterfront project. The project is being implemented in coordination with the Maritime board.

The mangrove cell said the Avicennia variety of mangroves was destroyed by the contractor and the district appointed the Balkum Circle officer to register a case against the contractor.

Prashan Khapde, Balkum Circle officer, said, “I have registered a case with the Kasarvadavli police on Friday. Several more cases will be registered for this destruction of mangroves. After Joshi’s complaint, we did a panchanama of the place and found out that the mangroves along the creek were filled illegally.”

Khapde said the contractor had taken no permission to fill these mangroves. “The forest act was also violated around 50m away from this plot, near Nagla forest.”

TMC however claims that they haven’t received any complaint from the police on this issue. A TMC officer said, “We have barricaded the area where the work of the waterfront project is being undertaken. The contractor had earlier given a letter to the Kasarvadavli police station informing that few other elements were carrying out illegal filling of mangroves near our site. The police had given a remark that they will take action after they get a complaint from the revenue department. We have not destroyed any mangroves for the project.”

The high court in July had asked TMC to stop reclaiming mangrove areas and dumping debris for the waterfront project. Joshi said, “Any development project should follow the CRZ and forest norms. This illegal filling of mangroves will lead to flooding in the city and soon we will face a Kerala type situation.”

The Kasarvadali police has confirmed that the case has been registered against the contractor. “We have registered a case under section 15 and 19 of the Environment Protection Act of 1986 for illegally filling of mangroves using excavators and JCBs.”

First Published: Sep 16, 2018 00:42 IST