Slashing off the trees to construct malls and resorts seems to be something that is too mainstream now that the case of cutting down the mangroves to build bungalows has come to light. It has been reported that 63 residents of Versova have allegedly slashed down mangroves just so they could expand their area of their respective residences. The police are now gearing up to take strict action against these owners. In an exclusive coverage done by Mumbai Live, Baba Saheb Paredh, the Deputy Magistrate of the city, stated that a FIR has been lodged against these bungalow owners and the authorities at MNPA and MHADA are instructed to take strict action against them.
He further added that some celebrities are also involved in the unlawful act. In case if they are proven guilty, they may be jailed for a period of up to 3 years and penalization of a handsome amount. Assistant Forest Conservator Makrand Ghotge says that looking at the illegal construction and incessant cutting down of mangroves a ‘Mangrove Cell’ was formed wherein a tab was being kept on the conservation of mangroves through a satellite. The cell had already handed over its survey report three months before to the District Magistrate.
The report brings to light 63 people who are accused. Paredh the Deputy Magistrate states that MHADA and BMC reserve all the rights to take any action in this regard. As per the reports, a case was earlier filed against the popular stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma and actor Irrfan Khan. Apart from this, a number of people involved in the illegal slashing of mangroves to expand their residential properties were on the hit list of BMC which included relatives of stars like Shilpa Shetty and Shakti Kapoor.