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‘No devp at the cost of mangroves’ 


Mumbai: Almost a month after the Bombay high court told the state to safeguard mangroves around Mumbai, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority has directed all local government authorities to refrain from sanctioning any more development works which might destroy mangroves in the coastal areas. 
In a public notice issued on Friday, the authority directed “all concerned’’ to stop any destruction or denudation of mangroves around the city’s coastal areas. Concerned municipal corporations, collectors and other authorities of Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Dombivli and Navi Mumbai must not clear any more development work in the five areas of Seven Bungalows in Andheri, Kanjurmarg, Link Road in Goregaon, Gorai and Malvani village, Malad as well as the rest of the Mumbai coastal region, the notice specified. The five areas had been identified by the Bombay Environment Action Group, the petitioners in a PIL on mangroves, as ones particularly under threat from development activity in the city. 
Failure to comply with the order, the authority stated, would result in prosecution under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for which punishment could be imprisonment upto six years and fine upto Rs one lakh. It is not clear how the authority, which has little manpower, will monitor the implementation of its order. However, local green activists say that the notice will at least strengthen their case when they approach the police about incidents of mangrove destruction in their neighbourhood.