Thursday, February 02, 2023
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Cops stop Kharghar hill cutting after protest threat

Dhamole village in foothill apprehends landslides

NatConnect Foundation

The public anger against the cutting of a hill at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai has taken a new turn on Sunday

NAVI MUMBAI: The public anger against the cutting of Kharghar Hill has taken a new turn on Sunday with the police halting the excavation following protest by the tribal villagers of Dhamole.

The people from Dhamole, touching the hill, came out to for a human chain protest as they said the hill cutting would adversely impact their homes, Balaram Pardhi, head of the Vana Hakk Samiti said.

Police Inspector Vimal Bidwe tried to prevent the human chain as the people have not taken any permissions. But the agitators stuck to their guns and offered to be arrested if the police did not permit the peaceful protest.

“We will rather go behind the bars peacefully than allowing this demolition of the hill,” Pardhi said.

The protestors called for an immediate halt to the excavation which CIDCO resumed after a brief break following the intervention of the revenue department. The hill cutting is being done for taking truckloads of soil to level the Kharghar golf course.

The police then stopped the work on the hill and the agitators decided to meet the Governor and CIDCO Managing Director with their demands.

NatConnect Foundation which launched a digital agitation #DontKillKhargharHill said it is shocking that the excavation has restarted despite the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asking the Environment and Urban Development secretaries to look into the issue.

The hill cutting is an invitation to environmental disaster, said NatConnect director B N Kumar in his series of mails to CM. despite the recent incidents of landslides in Mumbai and at Talai village in Raigad district.

Bhagwan Kesbhat, founder and CEO of Watavaran, said the people of Dhamole are understandably disturbed as their homes will be affected. The people have been living here for ages and the Collector demarcated 250 acres for them for social forestry.

Kumar expressed surprise that the common people are much more aware than the government officials on environmental issues. CIDCO could always find many alternative sources for fetching sol to level its golf course rather than going for these short cuts of damaging the hills amid urban habitats.