February 29, 2012 12:03:00 am
Following a complaint regarding illegal dumping of construction debris near Powai lake,the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has directed the state environment department to take steps to tackle the problem.
On February 6,city-based NGO Plant and Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) complained to the environment ministry about construction debris being illegally dumped near the small gate of Powai lake,close to the immersion ghat adjoining the IIT boundary wall. Taking cognisance of this,SK Srivastava,joint director of the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD),which comes under the MoEF,has directed state environment secretary Valsa Nair Singh to look into the matter. Given the facts…,I am directed to request you to take appropriate steps for redressal of the petitioners grievance, he said.
Sunish Subramanian,secretary,PAWS,said residents had seen trucks dumping debris on the bank of the lake late in the night in early February. The debris contains tiles,bricks and broken down construction material. Such dumping will affect the rich biodiversity of the lake such as migratory birds and the crocodiles. In fact,once the debris started spilling on to the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) side of the lake. It was later removed and a makeshift fence was put up between the road and the lake,Subramanian said. The fence makes it difficult for anyone to spot the debris from outside but it is still there, he added.
Noting the NGOs concern over the flora and fauna of the lake being endangered and preventing further degradation of the lake,Srivastava also pointed out in the letter that the lake was taken up for conservation under MoEFs National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as the implementing agency. The project has since been completed.
There is no security at the lake so such illegal activities can go on unchecked, said Subramanian.
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