Activists Allege Intentional Destruction of Mangroves Across Maharashtra

Activists Allege Intentional Destruction of Mangroves Across Maharashtra

Environmentalists have raised strong objections about the alleged destruction of mangroves at Ulwe and Kharghar in Raigad as well as Vashi in Thane district. 

They have taken their concerns to the Mangrove Protection and Conservation Committee appointed by the Bombay High Court so as to intervene before the mangroves disappear completely. This comes as the mangrove lands mentioned above are expected to be transferred to the State Forest Department. 

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NatConnect Foundation, an environmental protection organization from Navi Mumbai, said that this appears to be a deliberate effort to destroy the mangrove lands in these districts. 

Director of NatConnect Foundation, BN Kumar said, “This appears to be a methodical, systematic conspiracy by the land grabbers to destroy the mangroves, dry up the area before the forest department steps in.”

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“The act of destruction of mangroves appears to be picking up momentum as the Mangrove committee has given a final deadline to Mumbai, Thane and Raigad district collectors and CIDCO to transfer unreserved mangroves under their respective jurisdiction to the forest department, following NatConnect’s complaints,” Kumar added.

The Maharashtra Government has previously notified 15,312 hectares (ha) of land as reserved forest as per the Indian Forest Act (IFA). However, around 1,500 hectares from this portion hasn’t been transferred to the Forest Department as of yet. Moreover, some state agencies are yet to transfer nearly 2,000 ha of green land to the forest authority. 

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