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In a 1st, FIR Against 8 People For Mangrove Burial Uran

Revenue Officials Swing After Greens Raise Alarm

NatConnect Foundation

At least 20 acres reclaimed for truck parking by continuously destroying mangroves at Dhutum in Uran

NAVI MUMBAI: Amid complaints of repeated destruction of mangroves at Dhutum in Uran, the revenue officials have filed a second FIR, this time against eight persons.

Vanashakti director Stalin Dayanand and Sagarshakti director Nandakumar Pawar bitterly complained against continuous destruction of mangroves in a vast area. Stalin is also a member of the High Court appointed Mangrove Protection and Conservation Committee.

Uran Tahsildar Bhausaheb Andhare directed revenue officer Bhagwan Padhu Waghilkar to do a panchanama and file the case.

Waghilkar reported in his report that his inquiries revealed that eight persons – Amit Thakur, Alankar Thakur, Arun Thakur, Parag Thakur, Sandesh Thakur, Shekhar Thakur, Tukaram Thakur and Ashish Thakur – have been dumping debris on the mangroves.

They have reclaimed about 20 acres so far, to be used as parking of trucks and trailers, the FIR said, registering a case under sections 15 and 19 of the Environment Protection Act 1986.

A Google map available with the Forest Guard of Mangrove Unit – Uran, showed the presence of mangroves at the site since 2005.

Stalin said this was probably the fastest registration of an FIR in a mangrove destruction case. Normally, the FIRs are against unidentified persons, but here the officials named eight persons, he said.

Earlier in February 2021, an FIR was filed by Forest Guard Maya Narayan Bhosale against one Pritam Ramchandra Thakur for destroying mangroves on two acres, following a complaint from B N Kumar, director of NatConnect Foundation. Thakur rented out the area to a restaurant and paan shop, the FIR said.

NatConnect had originally complained to the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who in turn directed the Environment Department to look into it. The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) informed Kumar that the Raigad District Coastal Zone Monitoring Committee (DCZMC) has been asked to do the on-the-spot inquiry. “CIDCO officials have told us that the area has been leased out to JNPT,” Kumar said.

Pawar, who also separately complained to the CM and district authorities, said the larger forces behind the mangrove destruction must be brought to book.