RAF to protect mangroves? CM acts on greens suggestion to protect Mumbai coast

Sunday, 12 August 2018

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MUMBAI: Swiftly acting on a suggestion from environment activists to deply a Rapid Action Force (RAF) along the Sion-Panvel highway to check mangrove killing debris mafia, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has asked the Home Department to look into it.

“We received a mail acknowledging our suggestion and appeal to preserve mangroves and check the rampant dumping of debris on mangroves,” said social communication activist B N Kumar, whi si also the governing council chairman of PRCI. The CM’s mail said the Home Department has been asked to take further action, he said and appreciated Mr Fadnavis for his prompt action.

Environment focused website thenatureconnect.com headed by Kumar and NGO Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP) have sent a joint mail six days ago along with a photograph of debris dumped on mangroves on the creek at Vashi, in a stone’s throw from the toll Naka, to the Chief Minister six days ago.

“This was in continuation of our campaign against the systematic and reckless destruction of life-saving sea plants by debris mafia in Mumbai Metropolitan region (MMR)” said Nandkumar Pawar of SEP.

Debris is an inevitable by-product of construction. But what is a matter of serious concern is that debris mafia has been rampantly killing mangroves by dumping the construction waste along the creeks and the sea. The government could plan to set up a Rapid Action Force to check debris mafia and take stringent action against the culprits, the mail to the Chief Minister said.

Calling for responsible disposal of debris, Kumar said the various landfill sites could be chosen for dumping debris, not certainly the mangroves

The missive to the CM also drew the government’s attention to the massive destruction of mangroves in Uran area and pointed out that the Regional Forest Officer himself has confirmed the killing of as many as 4,500 plants in 4.5 hectares. Local residents have named JNPT SEZ for the rampant killing of mangroves.

Asking whether we have forgotten the Chowpatty and Mithi floods, the activists asked:  “Do we have to wait for another tragedy to realize and then plan steps to protect the mangroves?”

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