Illegal structures along 5-hectare mangrove patch in Mumbai razed
Mumbai has a total of 5,800 hectares (ha) of mangrove cover – 4,000 ha on government-owned land and 1,800 ha in private areas.mumbai Updated: Nov 15, 2017 00:32 IST
As a part of their ongoing anti-encroachment drive, the state mangrove cell removed 108 illegal structures, including a school, from a 5-hectare mangrove patch at Mandala, Mankhurd, along the Vashi creek on Tuesday.
This is the second such drive after monsoon, after 48 vehicles - eight four-wheeler vehicles, 15 two-wheelers and 25 rickshaws – were seized and 15 shanties were removed from 3 hectare mangrove patch in Malwani, Malad (West) on November 1.
Mangroves are salt-tolerant plants, trees, shrubs or ground fern of tropical and subtropical intertidal regions. Currently, Mumbai has a total of 5,800 hectares (ha) of mangrove cover – 4,000 ha on government-owned land and 1,800 ha in private areas.
Officials from the Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit (MMCU) under the state mangrove cell said four forest officers, 18 forest guards, 25 police officers, two excavator machines, and 25 labourers were deployed to remove the encroachments. “Since the area is in very close proximity of the Vashi creek, we dug channels across the 5 ha patch so that during high tide the water can flow in and it will help rejuvenate the mangroves again,” said Makarand Ghodke, assistant conservator of forest, MMCU, who led the drive. “The water will also stop illegal shanties from cropping up again.”
HT had reported on October 10 that mangrove cover of the size of nine Wankhede Stadiums in Mumbai is expected to be cleared of encroachments from November onwards to May next year. Mangroves in areas such as Malwani, Kannamwar Nagar in Vikholi, Kamraj Nagar in Ghatkopar, Chitta camp, Mankhurd, Charkop, Borivli, Gorai, Wadala and Cuffe Parade - will be cleared of shanties and illegal structures by the cell.
He added that MMCU directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to remove the debris. “The entire operation is a 24-hour job since the area is quite massive. The work will be completed by 9am Wednesday and then the debris removal process will begin,” said Ghodke adding that CCTV cameras and the construction of the wall will start once all encroachments in the city are cleared.
Areas where encroachments will be removed next
· Malwani – 3 hectare (carried out on November 1)
· Mankhurd – 5 ha (carried out on Tuesday)
· Kannamwar nagar – 1 ha
· Kamraj Nagar – 1 ha
· Chitta camp – 2 ha
· Charkop – 1 ha
· Borivli and Gorai – 2 ha
· Wadala – 2ha
· Cuffe Parade – 1 ha
(Source: State Mangrove Cell)