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MTDC Will Transfer 500 Acres of Mangroves to the Maharashtra Forest Department


MTDC Will Transfer 500 Acres of Mangroves to the Maharashtra Forest Department
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Maharashtra Environment & Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray has said that Mumbai will soon get a 500-acre mangrove around the Manori-Gorai belt. This comes as the Bombay High Court in 2018 asked state agencies to hand over the reins of the mangroves to the forest department. 

The Maharashtra Tourism and Development Corporation (MTDC) is one of the first state agencies to initiate the transfer of mangroves to the forest department. The details of the transfer were discussed at a meeting conducted by the State Tourism Department accompanied by officials from the Mangrove Cell and Forest Department. One of the key issues discussed was regarding the handing over of mangroves that are situated near existing MTDC tourist resorts. 

Also read - Forest Department Asks For Transfer Of 184 Hectares Of Mangrove Forests

“The survey has begun to identify and come up with the exact area that can be handed over. The total area is approximately 800 acres and it is with MTDC as of now. Of this, some have been declared reserved forest already. However, there are still about 500 acres which would be declared as a reserved forest after being handed over,” Thackeray said.

“The land cannot be used, and should not be used either. Not all such areas need human interference. So we would rather hand it over to the forest department according to it the status and protection it requires,’ the Environment Minister added.

Also Read - National Green Tribunal Asks Maharashtra To Curb Pollution Of Mangroves

Data provided by the MTDC reveals that out of the total 1,074.05 acres available across Manori and Gorai, 872.53 acres have been marked as mangroves while a total of 73.19 acres in Manori and 128.33 acres in Gorai have been earmarked for playgrounds in the region. The demarcation of a large portion of this land as mangroves will surely benefit the local ecology. 

Managing Director at MTDC, Ashutosh Salil said - “Some of this mangrove area is partly notified by the forest department, but based on-site verification to determine the exact area, we have decided to hand over at least 500 acres located along creek edges both at Gorai and Manori to the forest department ensuring it is free from encroachments and other threats.” Salil further said that the MTDC is expected to complete the formalities by the end of October. 

Also read - Bombay HC Permits Felling Of 357 Mangrove Trees For Metro Line-4

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