Full grown trees have been chopped and burnt down and flower pots are being lined up the hill slope in the name of beautification, said NatConnect Foundation
NAVI MUMBAI: Disturbed by the passing-the-buck game despite the continuous damage to the picturesque slopes of Parsik Hill under the guise of beautification, environmentalists and residents raised a fresh concern with the government at various levels.
Full grown trees have been chopped and burnt down and flower pots are being lined up the hill slope in the name of beautification, said NatConnect director B N Kumar said in his fifth complaint to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. NatConnect sent photographic evidence of the non-stop damage to the hill.
Thackeray has asked the Forest and Urban Development Department Secretaries to look into the matter. Forest Secretary P Venugopal Reddy has also repeatedly asked the Chief Conservator of Forests to check.
Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Abhijit Bangar on his part asked his officers to look into the issue
“Yet, unfortunately, there has been no action and this looks like just passing on the buck game,”
The environmental damages could be enormous with landslides during rains, depletion of water holding capacity and above all huge threat to the residential buildings. CIDCO allotted 200 odd plots and a hundred of them are occupied with multi-storied buildings, Kumar pointed out.
“We have been complaining for the past two months and all that we hear is that the concerned officials are being asked,” he regretted.
Kumar has also raised the issue with Konkan Divisional Commissioner Vilas Patil in the presence of Waterman of India Dr Rajendra Singh who met the official last week.
“We understand that the district collector has all the powers to intervene to check the damage to hills. Hence, we have requested Thane district collector to stop the destruction,” Kumar said.
The sad part is that the damage is happening right next to the Sion-Panvel highway on which many officials drive. Moreover, the site is in a stone’s throw from CIDCO and Konkan Divisional headquarters, Kumar said.
An NMMC official said the civic body was doing tree plantation with the help of CSR funds of a corporate house. “This is a totally unwarranted exercise as the hill is naturally beautiful,” said Jayant Thakur, president of Parsik Hill Residents Association.
NMMC however said it has nothing to do with the cutting and digging of the slopes.
It is dangerous to dig with heavy JCB machines under the guise of this so-called beautification, Thakur said.
Right now, regular steps are being constructed right from the base and two huge hoardings have come up on the Hill for which again digging was done, said Vishnu Joshi, a resident of the Parsik Hill.
Full grown trees have been chopped and burnt and one fails to understand as to what kind of beautification is being done, said Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan.