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MBMC jolted out of slumber after tweet by alert citizen

Thursday, May 16, 2019
By Suresh Golani

Activists and locals have termed the action as an eye wash as the administration was shying away from taking action against the actual beneficiaries who had openly wiped out mangroves

Yet another classic case exposing the glaring insensitivity and apathy shown by the district authorities towards protection and preservation of mangroves has come to light in Mira Road.

Less than a month after the members of a sub-committee of the high level state mangrove cell (formed to address complaints of mangrove destruction at the regional level) visited a site near Gaurav Woods in the posh Kanakia area of Mira Road, where more than 100 truckloads of debris were allegedly dumped to reclaim pristine stretches of mangroves, the land sharks have brazenly started leveling the area with impunity. After the cosmetic action by the committee, officials from the revenue department mysteriously chose to remain mute spectators to the entire illegalities.

However, a tweet accompanied with a photo highlighting the mangrove destruction shared by an alert citizen and tagged to the local police station and the Chief Minister’s office, prompted the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) to wake up from their slumber and swing into action late on Tuesday night.

MBMC’s anti-dumping squad seized a dumper and handed it over to the local police station. “Process is underway to register a case against the miscreants for violating the Environment Protection Act,” said a civic personnel.

“Following complaints about debris being dumped on the lush mangrove cover on the privately owned plot, our team had inspected the place last month, following which craters were dug-up to prevent further damage,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner Deepak Poojary who is also the member of the sub-committee.

But activists and local residents have termed the action as an eye wash as the administration was shying away from taking action against the actual beneficiaries who had openly wiped out mangroves to turn the land into a hot bed for real estate projects. The destruction of mangrove forests across the state and constructions within 50 mtrs of mangrove areas has been banned by the judiciary.

Anti-Debris Squad Plays Truant!
Alarmed by the massive dumping of debris especially in eco-sensitive areas like mangrove belts, creeks, wetlands, coastal regulation zones and nullahs, the civic administration had introduced the concept of 24x7 anti-debris dumping squad in 2017 to check and prevent such illegal activities which not only posed a serious threat to the fragile eco-system, but also increased the risk of flooding during the rainy season.  However, despite an alarming rise in cases of dumping, the anti-debris squad has played blind to the illegal activities.

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