In April 2019, environmental group Vanashakti filed a complaint with the Mumbai suburban district administration, Mumbai police and the state government about construction debris being dumped on wetlands, grasslands and salt pans spread across 45 acres in Bhandup (East). The debris has reached a height of 20 feet. As per the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011, salt pans are ecologically sensitive areas falling under the category CRZ-1, where no development activity is allowed, except exploration of natural gas and extraction of salts. Vanashakti submitted a satellite map of the site as proof of illegal landfilling. The debris is allegedly being dumped by builders and the Mumbai Metro Railway Corporation (MMRC) from its works of Metro Line 3. Earlier in 2017, citizens' group Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishthan had filed a complaint with the suburban collector, mangrove cell and civic body of Bhandup against the illegal reclamation of wetlands, banned by the Bombay High Court in 2012. The authorities are yet to take any action. The wetlands form a stopover for migratory birds under the Central Asian Flyway and are located adjacent to the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary. They are home to 30 different bird species, four of which are near-threatened and 14 are migratory. Seven of these species fall under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, while the remaining 23 are categorised under Schedule IV of the Act, offering them protection against hunting, trafficking and other offences. Sedimentation through the disposal of sewage or solid waste in this zone has made the creek shallower over the past five decades. It has become a suitable habitat for mangroves to grow rapidly,
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Bombay High Court, Mumbai Metro Railway Corporation, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Vanashakti, Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishthan
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Has the Conflict Ended?
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