Thane: Waterfront plan may run into rough weather

17th September, 2018

THANE : The ambitious Gaimukh waterfront development project of the Thane municipal corporation (TMC) may possibly run into rough weather after the district administration has complained of indiscriminate damage to the ecology.

The district administration had received a complaint from activist Rohit Joshi, who is a member of the mangrove cell, that the waterfront project is leading to destruction of mangroves. The administration then registered an FIR against the contractor employed by the TMC under Sections 15 and 19 of the Environment Protect Act, 1986, on Friday. A joint survey was then conducted by the revenue department and city police on Sunday.

The revenue department, in its statement to the police, stated that the contractor has taken up construction work within 50m of the coastal zone without receiving the necessary permissions. The contractor is also responsible for the destruction of mangroves as dumping of debris is rampant there. This is in violation of the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms.

“We visited the spot on Sunday, along with the police, to analyse the damage done to the stretch where the mangroves were once present. Before we could reach the place, the contractor had already cleared a lot of debris that was dumped there. He didn’t have the requisite permissions from the Maritime board and the mangrove cell and had also violated the forest norms. The case may be forwarded to the state pollution control board which will investigate the matter,” said an official from the revenue department.

Joshi now plans to approach the high court witht he matter. “There was massive inundation along Ghodbunder Road this monsoon. Vehicles were seen floating due to waterlogging. The authorities must immediately look into this problem,” said Joshi.

Meanwhile, the TMC officials have refuted all the allegations and have claimed that there was no harm done to the mangroves and they had all the requisite permission to begin work.

“There is no incentive for the contractor to create extra land; so there is no question of him trying to reclaim land. We are only levelling the existing surface and not touching the mangroves at all,” said a senior official from the corporation.


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