In a series of efforts to clear encroachments on wetlands, the Maharashtra State Mangrove Cell cleared a five-hectare reserve mangrove forest land on Tuesday in Mankhurd after demolishing several illegal structures.
“We carried out the demolition of around 108 houses, which were illegally built after destroying mangroves close to the creek at Mandala near Mankhurd. Notices were served to evacuate the structures four days back and finally with help from Mumbai police officials the demolitions were carried out,” said Makarand Ghodke, Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Mangrove Cell.
According to him, almost 80 per cent of these structures which were initially hutments were gradually converted to permanent structures. “Apart from the structures, an almost three-hectare land had been cleared and converted into a ground and it was obvious that these too would soon see the construction of hutments,” informed another official.
In fact, in a bid to ensure that this land can be restored, the Mangrove Cell have created channels all along the area where demolitions were carried out. “These channels will help tidewater to enter the land and possibly even restore the area,” said Ghodke.