“Hills are national heritage, and nobody has any business to destroy them,” said Mr Pawar.
Mumbai: NGO Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishthan (SEAP) from Thane has started ‘I am Parsik Hill: I am Dying’ campaign to highlight the government’s apathy towards safeguarding the hills that are being exploited by illegal quarrying. On World Environment Day on June 5, the NGO SEAP along with other NGOs has urged chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to put an end to the plunder of the hills, which is under the protection of the environmental laws.
Nanda Pawar, director of the NGO SEAP, said that decade-long quarrying has caused irreparable damage to the environment and the hills due to the reckless blasting. “Hills are national heritage, and nobody has any business to destroy them,” said Mr Pawar.
While applauding the initiative of Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) which gave birth to the campaign #IamParsikHill and #IamDying, Sumaira Abdulali, founder of NGO Awaaz Foundation, which is also supporting the cause said, “The indiscriminate quarrying and sand mining in and around Parsik Hills is shocking and needs to be stopped immediately. The government needs to come out with a comprehensive plan to curb the illegal activities and ensure that the pristine flora and fauna of the hills remain intact.”
Pointing out that quarrying destroys biodiversity, forests and the water table, Mr Stalin D, director of NGO Vanshakti said, “The Parsik Hill range has the potential to become an excellent venue for eco-tourism and adventure sports. Please save these beautiful forested hills from reckless destruction.”
Mr Pawar said that they had written to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, asking him to immediately ban plundering of the hill range in Navi Mumbai. The SEAP has been mulling over filing a public interest litigation (PIL) with the National Green Tribunal if the state government did not take immediate measures to safeguard the hill range.