Maharasthra To Demolish 1,000 Illegal Houses On Mangrove Land

According to environmentalists, about 70% of mangrove forests in Mumbai have been destroyed in land reclamation projects. Picture- Anil Garg

MUMBAI: The 'Mangrove cell' of the Maharashtra government will remove around 1,000 houses in the first week of November for encroaching notified mangrove areas in the city, officials said yesterday.

"The demolition drive is going to start from the first week of November. We have received all the necessary clearances from the Maharashtra government," Chief Conservator of Forest N Vasudevan told .

"We have also sent several notices to the people living there but they have not evicted the premises," he said.

Vasudevan also heads the 'Mangrove cell' of the state forest department. The cell can initiate action of demolishing the encroachment on mangrove area.

"The cell had already identified 4,000 such houses, which have encroached the area in Mumbai. It had initiated action following which the houses and constructions were razed. We will start the next course of action from November first week, where another 1,000 houses on mangrove land will be removed," he said.

"The decision on eviction drive was already taken in September but it was not implemented because Monsoon season was going on. The eviction was not initiated on humanitarian grounds," Vasudevan claimed.

The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms have come into effect in 1991, mandating restoration of the mangroves to pre-1991 status.

However, there have been incidents of gross violations and the Bombay High Court in 2005 had issued directives for avoiding further violation of Environment Protection Act, 1986, the official added.


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