Dumping of debris in salt pans affecting mangroves, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 28/09/2022

  • 28/09/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Madhura Rajesh Tawde Vs State of Maharashtra dated 28/09/2022.

Grievance in the application is for remedial action against damage to the environment in Mumbai city near coastal road at Wadala to Mahul, close to Chembur to CST freeway by adding debris on the salt pan, making island out of it and encroaching the same, affecting the mangroves. Unauthorized structures are against CRZ Regulations issued under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The report by a six member joint committee informed the court that a salt pan operated by Garodia is covering 100 to 110 acres and in the majority of the area, encroachment by slum dwellers has taken place. Houses made of brick masonry and cement roofing sheets have been constructed. Along the periphery of the salt pan at C.S. no. 145, dense mangroves can be seen. However, the operator of the salt pan, Garodia has constructed a huge bund between the dense mangrove area and salt pans.

The report said that construction and demolition waste reportedly generated from South Mumbai is being dumped by the private parties upon obtaining consent of operator of salt pan.

The NGT said that the joint committee report showed that there have been unchecked violations by ways of encroachments, construction of bund, other illegal constructions and dumping of debris in violation of environmental norms  and to the detriment of the environment, particularly mangroves. However, the Committee has not indicated the violators of CRZ Notification and also not mentioned the action taken or proposed against such violators.

The court directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGMA) to prepare a time bound action with budgetary support in the matter and issue scientific handling of waste. The Salt Commissioner, Mumbai has also to take necessary action in the matter. This needs to be overseen by the Principal Secretary, Environment, Maharashtra, the order said.