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CM Devendra Fadnavis steps in to check mangrove damage in Uran

Date: 20-05-2019
Subject: CM Devendra Fadnavis steps in to check mangrove damage in Uran
NAVI MUMBAI: Responding to an SOS by environment groups that around 5,000 hectares of mangrove and wetland  area was being destroyed in Uran due to unchecked landfill, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis  swung into action, asking the environment ministry to take necessary action. Exasperated over the lack of action on ground to stop reclamation activity, green activists had written to the CM urging him to intervene. 

 "Much time has been lost as the environment monitoring officials were busy with Lok Sabha elections. Even after the polls, there seems to be no check on the landfill by JNPT and NMSEZ," the letter states. The letter has been sent by groups including The Nature Connect and Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP) and the local fishermen's body, Paarampaarik Machhimar Bachao Kruti Samiti. 

"Who will be responsible for the impending crisis? It will be too late to act for the Bombay HC-appointed mangrove committee...," the letter further states. The activists say if immediate steps are not taken, irreparable damage would have been done in the next few weeks. 

 Relentlessly continuing their series of communiques to the CM, the activists fervently appealed to him not to refer the complaint to any other department or officer, but personally look into it as they alleged all government departments had individually and collectively failed to save mangroves and wetlands in Mumbai Metropolitan region (MMR). 

"We received a reply from the CM that the principal secretary in the environment department, Anil Diggikar, has been asked to initiate further action," said activist B N Kumar, director of The Nature Connect. TOI is in possession of the CM's e-mail response. 

 Despite the Mangrove Monitoring Committee head himself promising action, the ground situation continues to deteriorate, said Nandkumar Pawar, head of SEAP. "JNPT SEZ and NMSEZ are rampantly destroying mangroves and wetlands either by dumping truckloads of soil and debris or by blocking free flow of the creek water," added Pawar. 

The activists said this was a direct violation of the Bombay HC orders to protect mangroves and wetlands. "Authorities such as MCZMA, CIDCO or the Raigad district magistrate have not responded to our RTI applications filed four months ago," said Pawar. 

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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