Dumping resumes at Mumbai’s biggest Coastal Regulation Zone violation site

December 10, 2009

Massive dumping has resumed at the biggest Coastal Regulation Zone violation site in Mumbai region. Since a few months intermittent dumping was going on but since past few days 300 trucks are dumping everyday between 2 – 9  am

The Google Earth images above give an idea of the location of the area and a better idea of the scale of destruction

Videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVOzNYJnvBg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVMDO3rrbWU

Attn: FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION

Mr. Jairam Ramesh
Union Minister for Environment and Forests

Mrs. Valsa Nair Singh
Secretary Environment
Chairman Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority
Government of Maharashtra

Mr. S S Sandhu
Divisional Commissioner
Konkan Division
Government of Maharashtra

Dear Mr. Ramesh, Mrs. Singh Mr. Sandhu and others,

Dumping of mud and debris has resumed at the 500 acre plot opposite Millat Nagat. Just to give a brief background, the concerned plot of land is situated in Andheri (W), opposite Millat Nagar.

What is land now was 500 acres of lush mangroves till the end of 1998. Between 1999-2002 almost 500 trucks of debris were dumped on top of the mangroves everyday and the whole forest was flattened out to make land for a golf course and villa scheme.

There is enough record to show that the government officials and even some civil society groups were sufficiently seized of the matter but no action was taken. Between Jan 2002 – Sep 2002 some local activists worked at getting various pieces of information together which showed a long trail of illegal practices and mis-representation followed to get the permission.

On 30th Sept 2002 the evidence was presented to MOEF, which immediately revoked the permission and dumping stopped.

After a year the parties concerned managed to get an order from Bombay HC to resume dumping which was finally challenged by a SLP in SC by BEAG in Jan-Feb 2004. Since then there has been no activity at the plot even as the sea has started moving in at places.

Now since a month there has been an increased incidence of dumping of debris and the modus operandi this time is t dump between 2 – 6 am. We have received calls from atleast 3 neighbours expressing concern and inquiring as to whether there have been some changes in the legal status.

We are attaching the blog link below to show all relevant information, pictures, Sep 2002 order suspending the permission etc.

Requesting MCZMA and Mr. Jairam Ramesh to take cognizance of the matter, call for an immediate halt to the dumping of debris and presenting the MOEF position on what action should be taken towards reversing the damage and punishing the violators all of whom are well identified.

Requesting Mr. Debi Goenka of BEAG to kindly update with reference to the conditions of the SLP and the efforts of BEAG/Debi since 2004 in this regard. A copy of the 2004order will be much appreciated.

Requesting all those marked on this list to show their involvement in this important violation. The learning from 26/7 should not be forgotten and it is important that when this kind of a violation happens then those concerned for the state of governance of the city as a whole rather than just particular neighborhoods show responsible action by intervening.

Sincerely,
Pravin Choudhary                                                            Rishi Aggarwal
Hon. Secretary                                                                Hon. Jt. Secretary
Mangrove Society of India (Mumbai Chapter)


26/11 and illegal slums on mangroves

November 26, 2009

The images below speak for themselves. This post has been possible due to the recent timeline feature of Google Earth and much thanks to them.

This is not an isolated incidence but more the norm. In 2007 Mangrove Society of India (Mumbai Chapter) started an exercise to document all such imagery but unfortunately due to the perpetual shortage of resource the exercise did not progress much.

On the first anniversary of the 26/11 attacks when there will be a lot of discussion on saving ourselves from the enemies outside it would be good to understand whether it is people from Pakistan who have come and helped break the CRZ notification and build slums like the ones below, in important mangroves and creek areas, which drains water from heavily populated areas behind?

(For best results, right click and open images in new window)

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Would these slums have come up without support from local politicians and police and Collector patronage? Some of the MSI members who were very active in 2002 did bring authorities to site and have a demolition. A second demolition was supported by some residents close by and then nothing.

Again this is a coastal area and who knows who can come up the creek and use these slums as a base? Where is the security then?

Are these slums provided with photo passes which push them behind 2000 or 1995 deadlines? How can the police which supports such illegality be expected to protect?

Its time those who engage in candle marches and other forums started involving themselves with the numerous visible breakdowns and serious initiatives to prevent them.

We will be submitting a petition to the CM about action to be taken on these illegal slums. If you would like your name to be on the petition do let us know.


2002

November 15, 2009

 

 


Minutes of MCZMA meeting – 28th Aug

November 14, 2009

Minutes of Interactive Session on Mangroves_28th Aug’09


Mangrove Protection Squads- Meeting by MCZMA and MSI response

August 29, 2009

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority called for a meeting to get feedback and suggestions about forming Mangrove Protection Squads.

mangrove_letter- MCZMA

The following letter with suggestions was submitted to the MCZMA. These do not just pertain to the formation of the Squads.

MCZMA 28Aug09


100 mangroves cut at Sai Dham Nagar, Charkop

May 25, 2009

Just received call from Francis Xavier about 100 mangroves being cut at Sai Dham Nagar opposite Charkop Bus Depot. GE images below should make the matter clear. The Charkop Bus Depot is clearly seen and the mangroves being cut are behind the slums.

(Right click and open pics in new tab)

I spoke to the R North Assistant Municipal Commissioner Mr. Bagalkar, who expressed his desire to cooperate but requested that we persuade MHADA to reveal the photo passes it has issued for the area, which will give him documentary evidence to pursue the matter. The Sr. PI there has also been pursuing the mater and the AMC is willing to share the correspondences.

Will be writing a letter to MHADA, DCP and AMC.

Photographs awaited.


Mangroves next to Chembur-Mankhurd Link Road

May 13, 2009

The pictures below show the steady loss of mangroves next to the Chembur-Mankhurd Link Road over the past few years.

For best viewing right click and open each picture in a new window.


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