India: Bombay Environmental Action Group defends Mangroves in court

Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to spell out
its stand on the issue of notifying around 25,000 hectares of mangrove
land on Maharashtra’s coastline as “forests.” A division bench of
Justices J N Patel and Rajendra Savant directed the additional chief
secretary (forests) and secretary (environment) to file an affidavit
in the matter within two weeks.

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The court was hearing a PIL filed by the NGO Bombay Environmental
Action Group (BEAG), seeking the conservation of mangrove plots in the
state. The court in October 2005 had ordered the state to ban dumping
in mangrove plots and cutting of mangrove trees. According to the
court’s directions, the state conducted a satellite mapping of the
coastline to identify mangrove land. Around 5,557 hectares of mangrove
plots in and around Mumbai was notified as “protected forests”. At
present, the court is hearing the issue of 550 hectares of mangrove
land in the city, that the government and various public agencies have
sought for development works.

During the hearing, advocate Gautam Patel, counsel for BEAG, complained that the government was yet to act on notifying mangrove areas in the rest of Maharashtra. Those constitute a substantial chunk–around 25,000 hectares. Assistant government pleader Niranjan Pandit told the court that the state had
to first identify mangrove plots which are owned by the government and
those that are private property. The court, however, sought a time
frame for completing the exercise. In a related development, the court
issued notice to the Konkan divisional commissioner after BEAG counsel
drew the attention about the alleged destruction of mangroves on a
50-acre plot in Malvani. The advocate said the mangroves were
destroyed on November 27, 2008, when the authorities were battling
terrorists in the city.

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Comments (3)

Malvani PeopleJanuary 15th, 2010 at 8:16 am

It is not so easy to defete them until such movements are driven by common people. Keep up the good work.

MAHADIK SUDHIRJanuary 30th, 2010 at 7:33 am

In Mira road East there is lot of mangrove mass slaughtering inbetween Miraroad – Dahisar Jaffery Bridge. i care a lot for the environment and the future of the younger generation.

i am sure you will look into this matter with utmost URGENCY.

Thanking you in advance.

SUBRAMANIAMApril 5th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Mangroves are cut behind Chheda Nagar BEST Bus stop (Buses going towards ghatkopar). This happened on Friday the 2nd of this month a govt holiday (good friday) Sat & sun being a Govt holiday (3days in a row) the mangroves were cut ground levelled and shops were erected over night. Whom to address the complaints not aware hence writing this letter.
pl help me with the right email id so that i can send the photographs taken on my mobile.

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