Among the 99 illegal structures in Malvani, mostly were shanties.
Mumbai: The state mangrove cell demolished 99 illegal structures in mangrove area of Malvani, Malad on Thursday. This was followed by demolition of 13 shops on the mangrove area of Gorai Jetty on Friday. In all, more than 500 structures from various mangrove areas have been demolished since January. The mangrove cell had a target of removing around 3,000 by May this year.
“Among the 99 illegal structures in Malvani, mostly were shanties. We faced a lot of resistance from the people there despite the fact that we had served them notices last year. There is a high court order too which refused to stay the demolition drive,” said Makarand Ghodke, assistant conservator of forest, mangrove cell.
Following the high court order of March 24, wherein the court dismissed a petition seeking a stay on demolition of illegal structures in Malvani, the cell claimed that the order is applicable to all encroached sites. Around 180 illegal structures were removed from three hectares mangrove area in Charkop, Kandivali last month when the state mangrove cell resumed its anti-encroachment drive. Also, 207 structures from mangroves in Ghatkopar were cleared in the same period.
“As soon as the demolitions take place, we are making arrangements by digging two meters deep trenches in the mangrove areas that have been vacated from the encroachment. This is to ensure free flow of tidal water to restore the area. As such miscreants are not able to again erect structures there, which is why they are creating hindrances in our drive,” added Mr Ghodke.
The forest officers are carrying out activities of digging trenches in mangrove areas as May and June are the most suitable seeding season. The mangrove cell will also start plantation in September.