Mangroves hacked 5 days before SC hearing: Activists
Five days before the Supreme Court hears the arguments on the Dahisar mangroves, a new green patch was destroyed on Wednesday morning, claimed local environmental activists.
“I was shocked to see that about three acre mangroves right in the middle were being hacked,” said Dr Mathew Samuels, president, New Link Road Residents Forum. “This despite the SC stay on the matter.”
Local residents have alleged that this is the fourth instance of mangrove destruction in the past two years — once in January 2009 and twice in February 2010 for which police complaints have been registered. “About 15 to 20 acres have easily gone. The builder has ensured that water supply to the mangroves is cut. There is no point having a law if it cannot be implemented,” said Harish Pandey, a local resident.
Konkan Divisional Commissioner S.S. Sandhu said he has taken cognisance. “I have asked the collector and the sub divisional officer to verify the matter and take necessary action.”
A Kandivali-based builder began the repairs of the bund defunct since 1993 on April 10 following a Supreme Court ruling in their favour. However, the ruling directed the petitioner not to destroy the mangroves. A company by Krishnadevi Khamatia owns the land.
While there is a 2005 Bombay High Court ruling that banned destroying mangroves, the Bombay Environmental Action Group has filed an appeal at the apex court against the matter.