Navi Mumbai: A large patch of mangroves has been destroyed by unidentified persons at Ulwe, close to Retibunder area. Activists have stated that miscreantstake advantage of the festive season and illegally damage the wetlands.
“Last year, illegal sand mining was reported close to this spot, along Belapur-Ulwe road. This time, the mangroves have been destroyed. It is high time the authorities and mangrove monitoring committee come out with an effective plan so that the accused are punished. If action isn’t taken now then our green cover will continue to be destroyed,” said Anarjit Chauhan, an activist.
When TOI contacted the Panvel tehsildar office on Saturday, Deepak Akade, a junior personnel, stated that none of the officials were present due to Dussehra. However in an earlier interview, the tehsildar had stated that they are cracking down on illegal sand mining or mangrove cutting in the area. If a citizen complaints then action is taken immediately.
Environmentalist D Stalin said, “There have been instances in the past as well wherein mangroves and wetlands have been damaged or destroyed by various elements. The state government is likely to launch a mangrove helpline by next month, so that citizens can easily complaint on such issues.”