Furore over fireshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/furore-over-fires/

Furore over fires

Residents of Charkop in Kandivali have complained that mangroves in the area are being destroyed deliberately by setting them on fire.

Residents of Charkop in Kandivali have complained that mangroves in the area are being destroyed deliberately by setting them on fire. Recently a patch equivalent to the size of a field in sector eight was gutted by a fire. Residents alleged that land sharks are dumping debris on the mangroves and then setting them on fire.

Director of Vanashakti (NGO) Stalin Dayanand said the fires are nothing but purposeful attempts at getting land clearance for constructing new buildings. “We have already filed four petitions in the High Court about wetlands and mangroves,but no concrete action has been taken till now,” he said.

The Union Environment Ministry had earlier asked the state to set up an authority for wetlands by 2011 to monitor the condition of mangroves. “No committee has been formed till now,” Dayanand said.

A local activist in the area,Mili Shetty,said: “Usually,I am the one calling the fire brigade every time a miscreant sets the mangroves to fire. This time,someone set the patch afire and vanished before any one could detect them.”

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Residents said they have dedicated a chunk of their time to protest in favour of conserving the area,which has been constantly damaged for private benefits.

‘Block’ing the road

Mulund residents have been facing problems daily due to paver blocks being dumped in the middle of the busy junctions during repair and improvement of roads. Old paver blocks in the Mulund area are currently being replaced with new ones.

“The new paver blocks are brought to the site and dumped on the road. Then the old paver blocks are removed and dumped alongside them. They stay on the road long after the new ones are installed,” said resident Sunil Gangwani. “Paver blocks were similarly dumped on Lalwani road and I had to make several complaints before they were removed. Now,another set of paver blocks has been dumped on the busy Paanch Rasta junction,two minutes from the T Ward office,” he added.

The Paanch Rasta junction is one of the busiest in Mulund and the paver blocks are causing a lot of traffic problems.

Potholes await repair

The residents of Malad east have been facing difficulties due to the bad condition of the Western Expressway. The locals of the P north area have been writing to civic officials to repair the potholes on the highway. According to the residents,after the death of an engineer on the flyover two weeks ago,the locals had been contacting the civic officials. “We have been complaining about the bad state of roads and the potholes in the area. In meetings of our societies,we have been getting complaints that the potholes on the highway have been a major cause of accidents in the area,” said Kamlesh Yadav,a resident of Sunflower building in Kurar.

Civic officials said the roads fall under the PWD authority and the MSRDC,and they have been contacting the authorities to repair the roads.

Illegal pipeline

Despite a court order in 2003 that the drainage pipeline of a five-storeyed building Ravi Shakun — constructed over a bungalow in Bandra (west),Linking Road — was illegal,its repeated reconstruction continues to irk residents. The BMC is yet to act upon a 24-hour demolition notice for the pipeline served on July 3.

“The pipeline runs from the fifth to the second floor. It runs above our ceiling and on the floor of the second floor flat. The case demanding its demolition even reached the High Court and the municipal commissioner’s office was pulled up for not following the court ruling. After they served the 24-hour notice earlier this month,action is yet to be taken. The ward officer now says that another inspection of the pipeline will have to be done but the court has already ruled the pipeline as illegal,” said the owner of the bungalow.

He added that the pipeline was demolished in 2007 and 2011 but was repeatedly reconstructed within months. Assistant Municipal Commissioner of H-west ward P Satkale said,“As per the court orders,we have to conduct an inspection before the demolition. We have already conducted the joint inspection a few days ago and tomorrow I will visit the site again after which demolition orders will be issued.”