Mangrove cell of the Maharashtra Government exterminates 450 illegal establishments on the salt pans

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Mangrove cell of the Maharashtra Government exterminates 450 illegal establishments on the salt pans

Illegal settlements removed from the State Mangrove belts on the salt pans

Wednesday, 10th February 2021

The mangrove cell of Maharashtra on this Tuesday eliminated around 450 establishments that were built illegally in that Mangrove area on the salt pan region in  Nagwadi in the vicinity to Chheda Nagar in Maharashtra’s Chembur. The state’s mangrove cell has removed all the illegal establishments and has successfully restored about 1.5 hectares (ha) of the mangroves in that area. Previously the Salt Commission had complained to the State Mangrove Cell and the removal of the illegal establishments is actually the result of that complaint.

Deputy Conservator, Neenu Somaraj (Forest mangrove cell), stated that the joint steps taken against such illegal establishments were taken after discussing the matter with the police force, the administrators, and the salt department. It was actually a joint action taken by all these departments.


 “The action was prompted by a complaint from the salt commission about encroachment on salt pan lands,” remarked Somaraj. The mangroves underwent successful restoration.


In the year 2005, through an interim order from the Bombay high court, it was stated that all the mangrove belts on the lands owned by the government must be returned to the forest department of the state. The high Maharashtra government repeated its specific order on the 18th of September, 2018. However, while the district level bodies haven’t yet returned the 1,592.8 hectare area (ha), the state-owned agencies like the JNPT were unsuccessful in transferring nearly 1,147ha to the state forest department falling under the jurisdiction.


Contempt notices were issued by Vanashakti—an NGO- in the month of December the previous year,

Those notices were sent to the district collectors of the Konkan district, to the divisional commissioner of the Konkan district, and the celebrated state agency, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) for not handing over the mangrove belts falling within their jurisdiction to the forest department of the state. In the month of January 2021, the NGO Vanashakti too lodged a petition in Bombay high court wishing for the immediate return of all the mangrove lands to the Maharashtra forest department.


The News Talkie Bureau



Hindustan Times

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