HC steps in to save mangroves
Taking suo motu cognisance of the HT reports highlighting the destruction of mangroves at the Sewri Bay, the Bombay high court on Friday issued notices to the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Ma-nagement Authority (MCZMA).
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice RV More asked the MbPT and MCZMA to apprise the court of the situation after two weeks.
On February 28, HT had reported that more than 30 acres of fully grown mangroves at Sewri Bay were destroyed beacause of pollution caused by the storage of coking coal a few metres from the site, on land that belongs to the MbPT.
Coking coal, a soft bituminous coal, is heated to produce coke - a hard, grey, porous material - used to blast furnaces for extracting iron from ore.
Though large tarpaulin sheets cover the coking coal, there are spots where the sheets have fallen or are ripped. Thick residue of the particles from the storage ground has covered the wetland and enveloped the mangroves.
Apart from that, environmentalists also suspect other eff-luents from chemical industries located in areas nearby, which have entered the mangroves.
The destruction of mangroves violates a Bombay high court order of 2005, which prohibits dumping of debris within 50 metres of the mangroves regardless of land ownership.