Police sent a report to the forest department and the collector on the destruction of mangroves on land owned by the Essel Group in Gorai Tuesday. Police detained two persons who were caught levelling and filling mangrove areas using JCB machines in the area Monday.
Based on a complaint that mangroves were being destroyed, the Gorai police reached the spot and found workers driving a JCB, clearing and flattening the area. “We immediately picked up Bahadur Tejin Damor (33) and Anilkumar Mathur (24) who were flattening the land very close to mangroves,” said Pramila Kawale, police sub inspector, Gorai police station. Police conducted a spot panchnama Monday and are awaiting instructions from the collector and forest department before registering an FIR.
Gorai police said it has sent a letter to the Essel group Tuesday to ascertain who authorised work on mangrove areas owned by the group. The site is opposite the Essel Group’s under-construction resort. The Essel Group has maintained that they are not aware of the issue. “We will follow whatever legal procedure has to be followed in this case,” said Nilay Vaidya, spokesperson for Essel Group.
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“The reclaimed land is being levelled by JCB machines and grass carpets are being laid there. New roads are being constructed on mangroves opposite Essel World and Water Kingdom by killing mangroves and dumping construction material over it,” said Harish Pandey, member of the New Link Residents’ Forum.
A team from the mangrove cell who visited the spot Monday has confirmed the violations. “Prima facie, it seems that the violations are on private land so we haven’t taken any action. We will refer it to the concerned authorities,” said N Vasudevan, chief conservator of forests, mangrove cell.