‘Debris killing green cover at Kalamboli’
Navi Mumbai: Dumping of construction debris and garbage along the vast embankment of the Kalamboli holding pond adjoining Sion-Panvel highway and Roadpali Road is drying up mangroves on the stretch, environmentalists have warned. The dumping is also encouraging encroachments by illegal garages, scrap marts and shanties.
Illegal shops and shanties are cropping up every other day and environmentalists and activists are distraught that this may further encourage more encroachments and further destroy the mangrove cover.
When contacted, Dnyaneshwar Sonawane, Panvel range forest officer, said, “The area belongs to Cidco and we have no jurisdiction over it. However, we will intervene to protect the mangroves and wetlands. A team will be sent soon to take stock of the situation.”
Prakash Gaikwad, PCMC Kalamboli ward officer, said, “We have kicked off a drive to crack the whip on encroachments in the area and cleared some shanties, makeshift offices and vendors a few days ago. We will keep a vigil on the dumping activity in the holding pond site too. The dumped debris will be removed soon.”
Environmentalist Yogesh Padge said, “The mangrove stretch of the Kalamboli holding pond, which opens out into the Taloja creek, is under threat from dumping of debris that continues unabated besides encroachment. The mafia has adopted the usual modus operandi of dumping debris in the mangrove stretch and levelling it and then promoting encroachers to set up shops. Agencies are turning a blind eye. The high court order on preservation and protection of wetland and mangroves is being violated.”
Residents too have noticed the encroachers and dumping activity which takes place under the cover of darkness. Cidco environment officer Pramod Patil said he will personally look into the matter and visit the site.