Environmentalists have alleged that there was a planned attempt to destroy wetlands in Mumbai and that the Mithi river in Powai and a lake in Aarey Colony were being illegally reclaimed. Stalin Dayanand, director of NGO Vanashakti, said he has written to several government officials against the reclamation.
“As Mithi flows from Powai into Aarey near Filterpada, a private entity is dumping mud into the river. This will ultimately affect the flow of the river. Similarly, the lake in Aarey Colony’s Royal Palms is also being filled up with mud. These are important resources for the city and should be protected, not destroyed. Mithi river is a subject matter of the Supreme Court and it is monitoring it,” said Dayanand.
Objecting to filling up of the Aarey lake with mud, Dayanand wrote to the Mumbai suburban collector, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the environment secretary and the Mangrove Cell Monday. “Royal Palms Complex in Goregaon east in the Aarey area has a natural lake in it. This area is part of the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of SGNP. In an ESZ, landfilling of water bodies is not acceptable, and is undoubtedly environmentally destructive,” Dayanand wrote.
Dayanand has also written to the Mumbai suburban collector, the MPCB and the Environment Secretary regarding the dumping of mud in the Mithi river. “… A developer has started work adjacent to the river and is changing the landscape, presumably to build some building. The catchment area of the river is being encroached and this must be stopped,” he wrote.
Mumbai Suburban Collector Dipendrasingh Kushwah said that he had not seen the letters yet. “I can only respond once I go through them,” he added.