National Green Tribunal Asks Maharashtra to Curb Pollution of Mangroves

National Green Tribunal Asks Maharashtra to Curb Pollution of Mangroves

The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) principal bench passed an order at a hearing on Tuesday asking the State Government of Maharashtra to provide a detailed report on the total quantity of garbage collected at mangroves along with a plan to dispose of them within six weeks.

“We direct the divisional forest officer of the area and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to submit the remedial measures which are required to be taken to solve the problem,” the order passed by the NGT read. 

The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by environmental protection group, Vanashakti on the state of coastal pollution and the likelihood of solid waste entering the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS). 

Stalin D, Director at Vanashakti said - “If the matter is not addressed, TCFS and our mangrove forests will become garbage dumps very soon.” The tribunal has mentioned that the next hearing on the matter will take place on the 7th of October.

“Our suggestion before NGT for installing nets to strain solid waste from stormwater drains was accepted by state and Central agencies but the BMC has conveniently ignored it,” he added.

“Making use of nets as suggested by petitioners can solve this crisis much faster. BMC is duty-bound to stop waste from entering the sea, and is currently not implementing the Maharashtra Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 2006,” Under-Secretary at the State Environment Department, Sanjay Sadashiv said.

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The Forest Department’s Mangrove Cell has estimated that there could be around 50,000 tons of plastic waste spread across 6,600 hectares of Mumbai’s mangroves.

The MPCB has previously said that rivers, creeks, and the ocean is also threatened by plastic waste that is discarded by the people, thus polluting the sea as a consequence. The MPCB has also mentioned that around 93% of the pollution in the mangroves and wetlands across the city are from untreated waste, mostly plastic.

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