Wetland panel appointed by Bombay high court is inefficient, says member
The committee was formed by the Bombay high court in August after hearing a contempt petition filed by NGO Vanashakti.mumbai Updated: Jun 12, 2018 13:25 IST
Alarmed by the inaction on mangrove destruction in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), a member of the Bombay High Court (HC)-appointed wetland grievance committee has said that the body is ‘inefficient’.
The committee was formed by the Bombay high court in August after hearing a contempt petition filed by NGO Vanashakti.
The court directed the state government to set up a committee, headed by the Konkan divisional commissioner, to monitor the order’s implementation and receive complaints on wetland destruction.
The committee comprises municipal corporation representatives, the state pollution control board, district collectors, the state mangrove cell, police personnel and Stalin D from Vanashakti, which is the petitioner.
On Monday, Stalin wrote to all members saying that the committee has failed to carry out its duties. The letter, which Stalin shared with HT, also said the Konkan divisional commissioner has not held a meeting for the past three months.
“The time has come for the committee to consider if it is serving any purpose or if it is fulfilling the HC mandate, which was to protect wetlands. The silence of your departments and the reluctance to pass written orders is disappointing,” the letter read.
He cited examples of 17 wetland destruction cases that were pending, all reported by HT. Some of the wetlands destroyed are Mumbra, Gaimukh, Uran, JNPT, Dharmapur, Malad and Kopri.
Reacting to Stalin’s claims, JR Gowda, member-secretary, HC wetland grievance committee, said, “In each of the pending cases, we have taken up independent enquiry with all government departments. In some cases, final action has also been taken. Details will be discussed during the next meeting scheduled later this month. However, as far as the letter is concerned, it will be presented before the chairman of the committee.