golf-course-mangrovesCIDCO has come under severe criticism, not once but twice off late. First the Union Minister of Environment and Forest said that since 1992, CIDCO did not procure environment clearance for any of their projects, including the Palm Beach road, which till today has not been cleared by the Center’s Environment Dept. Even as these reports made headlines, blatant violation of CRZ norms+ have been reported for paving way for the golf course at Nerul. We bring to you an insight. It may be recalled that we aired a report on November 18, 2006 about the discoloration of mangroves on Palm Beach Road evident to the naked eye. Sources inform that this is a systematic way of killing mangroves by spraying chemicals that make them dry and then burning them. Our camera lenses had captured smoke coming from the midst of thick mangrove belt and a closer look showed how the mangroves were systematically being burnt and JCBs and dumpers moving in and out clearing the sand and the mangroves and making way for the development of a flat land. All this was happening next to the NMMC boards that state penalty and punishment for mangroves destruction. But the NMMC officials who travel through the Palm Beach Marg in air-conditioned cars have become blind and ignorant this burning reality. Navi Mumbai News had brought destruction of mangroves to the attention of the Governor of Maharashtra S M Krishna, State Environment Minister Ganesh Naik, Thane Collector Nandkumar Jantre and Commissioner Madhukar Kokate. While immediate action was taken on our report and the mangroves were left alone again, reports of the same have surfaced once again. Flouting High Court orders, CIDCO is clearing 52 acres of eco-sensitive marsh land on Palm Beach Road for a proposed golf course. While the Mumbai high court order designating mangroves as protected forests, demonstrating their high handed attitude, CIDCO has once again indulged in anti environment activities. The phased destruction of mangroves here is being done by constructing a muddy road, which cuts off sea water from the mangroves.


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