‘We’re eco-friendly’: Army defence on Colaba debris dumping plaints

Published on Nov 26, 2019 12:57 AM IST
HT Image
HT Image
By, Mumbai

Following repeated complaints that Sagarmatha Club in Navy Nagar, Colaba, is illegally dumping debris to reclaim land, the Army has said the debris is intended to fortify the club against sea erosion. A police investigation, as well as a parallel probe by the mangrove cell into the debris dumping, is underway.

On November 19, environment group Conservation Action Trust (CAT) had filed a complaint with the Mumbai city district collector, state mangrove cell and Konkan commissioner, alleging debris from the Metro railway construction was being dumped on the shore near Sagarmatha Club, which is owned by the Indian Army. Photos of trucks carrying debris and boulders were attached to the complaint.

“Reclamation of mangroves is still ongoing despite repeated complaints and a first information report (FIR) being filed against the club,” said Debi Goenka, executive trustee, CAT.

HT visited the site on Monday and saw earth and boulders had been dumped along the club’s shore. However, there are also fresh mangrove saplings in the area that have been planted by the Army.

Mumbai City collector Shivaji Jondhale said, “Mumbai Police filed an FIR in May against the Army club. In spite of this, reclamation work has continued.” The FIR charges the club with violations of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, and Jondhale said an inspection report would be submitted “at the earliest”.

On Monday, the Army issued a letter to the forest department and district administration. An Army official shared an unsigned copy of the letter with HT. “It is reiterated that the Army as an organisation is not doing any such thing as reclamation. Prevention of flooding during monsoon and protection of defence land from being eroded is mandatory to ensure that there is no loss to life and government property in Colaba. During the actions taken, a healthy distance is being maintained from existing mangroves and it is assured that no construction in any form is being done and mangroves will not be harmed,” the letter read.

The officer said cyclones Vayu, Kyarr and Maha in October and November had necessitated measures to control flooding, which include getting boulders from Metro sites. “Prior to the cyclone impact, we had placed barrels, tyres, chain-link fences but none of these measures helped control flooding. We are also in talks with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to get tetrapods to be placed along the seaward end while 2,500 mangrove saplings have been planted by us.”

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police has begun investigating the case. “An offence case has been registered against the club,” said Sangramsinh Nishandar, deputy commissioner of police, zone 1.

Divisional assistant commissioner of police Subhash Khanvilkar said, “Based on the FIR, we are investigating the case for violations of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.”

Parallel to the police investigation, the mangrove cell sent a team to the site but it found no destruction of mangroves. “We are awaiting a detailed investigation report from our divisional forest officer for further clarity,” said N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest (mangrove cell).

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Badri Chatterjee is an environment correspondent at Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He writes about environment issues - air, water and noise pollution, climate change - weather, wildlife - forests, marine and mangrove conservation

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Police sources said the assailants had used a silencer while opening fire

    Petrol pump owner shot dead in Amritsar

    The owner of a fuel station was gunned down by unidentified car-borne persons in the Holy City colony of Amritsar on Wednesday night. The incident took place at around 10:30pm when Mohan had reached outside his home, after work. As per information, when Mohan reached just outside his house, a Toyota Innova SUV also reached there and the assailants in the car opened fire. Police commissioner Arun Pal confirmed Mohan's death.

  • Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala suggested that the Bill be referred to a select committee of the House for examination. Subsequently, the home minister moved a motion to refer the amendment Bill to a select committee of the assembly. (HT File Photo)

    Haryana assembly passes 4 Bills, refers one to select committee

    The Haryana assembly on Wednesday referred to a select committee of the House the Haryana Police (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for examination. The amendment Bill which sought to do away with the powers of the Haryana State Police Complaints Authority to take suo motu cognisance of a matter was opposed by Congress MLA Varun Chaudhary. Deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala suggested that the Bill be referred to a select committee of the House for examination.

  • Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia being greeted after being released from prison on bail, in Patiala district, Wednesday. (PTI)

    Faith in judiciary reposed, says SAD on Bikram Majithia’s release in drugs case

    The Shiromani Akali Dal on Wednesday said the party's faith in judiciary had been reaffirmed by the Punjab and Haryana high court's decision to grant bail to former minister Bikram Singh Majithia in a “politically motivated case of vendetta”. The party spokesperson asserted Majithia was not guilty of offences he has been charged with in the FIR registered in December, 2021, under different sections of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

  • As the PRTC bus was being operated under the kilometre scheme, MACT directed its owner and driver to jointly pay the relief to the petitioner. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Patiala man left disabled after accident gets 13-lakh relief

    Over five years after a Patiala resident suffered permanent disability in Kumar's arm due to an accident, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Chandigarh, has awarded him a compensation of ₹13 lakh. The compensation will be paid by the owner and driver of the PRTC bus that had hit the car of the victim, Rohit Kumar, 33, a resident of Mangal Basti, Patran, Patiala.

  • The reserve prices of 17 freehold residential properties have been reduced by about 15% compared to the last e-tender. Bids can be submitted from August 16. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Chandigarh Housing Board puts up 154 properties for sale

    The Chandigarh Housing Board has invited e-bids for 154 commercial and residential properties from August 16. CHB chief executive officer Yashpal Garg said, “The reserve prices of 17 residential units on freehold basis located at Indira Colony, Manimajra, have been reduced by about 15% compared to the last e-tender. As many as 30 residential units, including 2BHK and EWS flats, and one commercial unit have been included for the first time in the e-tender process.”

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now