October 1, 2019 5:02:26 am
The Mangrove Cell of the Maharashtra Forest Department has begun surveying 15 locations in the city to restore mangrove forests. The Maharashtra Mangrove Committee, formed in accordance with a Bombay High Court order which held its fifth meeting in July, had identified 15 reclaimed locations that needed to be restored by November. However, the Mangrove Cell, which is supposed to decide the manner of restoration, has only surveyed four sites until September.
An officer from the Mangrove Cell said, “Restoration of already reclaimed mangrove areas is a tough task. We have to check the amount of debris at the site and how the mangroves should be planted. If the debris content is high, we will construct channels for mangrove plantation. The survey is undertaken for the same purpose.” If the debris can be removed, the area will be cleared and mangroves will be planted directly, sources said.
The committee was reportedly dissatisfied by the slow progress of the Mangrove Cell and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which has to undertake plantation activity within city limits. In September last year, the Bombay High Court bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla directed the state government to restore mangrove sites, which were recovered from encroachers.
The committee was set up following a court order to identify sites, approve restoration manner and also to identify vulnerable sites along the Konkan coast, including Mumbai.
The deadline for the restoration is November 2019. A BMC official said the delay is due to lack of clarity over the funds needed for the project and where the debris from these sites is to be dumped.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.