Mangroves on public land to be notified as protected forest in Mira Bhayandar

Bhayandar: The adage “Better late than never” best applies to the district authorities in Thane, when it concerns protecting mangrove cover in the Mira-Bhayandar region.

The administration has finally woken from its slumber to launch a survey to identify, demarcate and notify mangrove cover as reserved forest on government land in the twin-city. Huge areas of mangroves fall on privately owned, land.

The belated move follows in response to directions passed by the Mumbai High Court in context to preservation and restoration of the depleting green cover.

In accordance to judicial orders, a team comprising of officials from the revenue department, land/ records wing, forest department and he Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) headed by Deputy Conservator of Forests (Mangrove Cell) will launch the fortnight long survey from 14, November.

The mangrove belt will be individually assessed and mapped using Maharashtra Remote Sensing Applications Centre’s high-resolution satellite imagery, following which notification orders to this effect will be passed.

“Notifying areas as reserved forest will allow the forest department to take action against violators. Otherwise, the district administration had to act under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.” revealed a senior officer.

Lush mangrove belts and wetland stretches in the twin-city are being systematically destructed by dumping garbage and diverting the creek water so as to facilitate construction of multi-storey residential and commercial buildings.

This despite of the fact that destruction of mangrove forests across the state and constructions within 50m of mangrove areas has been banned by the judiciary.