CITIZENS FOR THE CITY
Linah Baliga Times News Network
Mumbai: Alert locals recently foiled an attempt to dump debris in Dahisar.
The New Link Road Residents’ Forum (NLRRF) received a call from a local on Sunday afternoon, saying some dumpers were headed towards Prithvi Palace off New Link Road. The land falls under Coastal Regulation Zone-1, which restricts construction close to the coastline.
A few residents rushed there and saw three dumpers—two empty and one filled with debris. The empty vehicles had dumped at least eight mounds of debris on the mangroves behind Prithvi Palace. There were saffron flags on the dumps, said residents. “We prevented the third installment of debris from being dumped. We were expecting arrival of more dumpers but they must have been alerted,” said Dr. S P Mathew, NLRRF president.
The MHB police were informed about the dumping by Mathew and others, after which a senior inspector and a few beat marshals reached the spot. “They ordered the dumpers to be taken to the police station and recorded our statements. We asked the police to file complaints under the stringent Environment Protection Act and inform the authorities concerned,” said Mathew.
Offenders, especially the builder lobby, dump debris on the CRZ land in Dahisar on public holidays and weekends.
“The dumping on CRZ-1 land is shocking. It usually takes place on holidays when the offices of BMC and Tehsildar are closed and it is difficult for the police to nab the offenders,” said Mathew. “We have filed a panchanama and written to the tehsildar’s office. They will have to lodge a complaint and we’ll register an FIR,” said senior inspector Suresh Kilje, MHB police station.
This is the second time this month that residents have prevented debris dumping on the mangroves.
MHB Police officers surveying the site and taking Panchnama
On May 1, 2013, which was a public holiday on account of Maharashtra Day, two dumpers were caught dumping debris behind Prithvi Palace. Two locals—Harishchandra Pandey and David Soosay—had got to know that a politician had purchased the land and was planning to construct a temple there. Residents wrote to the Tehsildar, Police and State environment secretary Valsa Nair Singh, saying debris was being dumping on CRZ-1 land and demanded immediate action.
Hope you have been encouraged to take steps to protect your own neighbourhood. All it takes is a little determination. Go ahead, only you can protect your own neighbourhood from becoming a dumping fround or a illegal slum colony. Act now before it is too late. This is a great way to actively put into practice what we have learnt about the value of saving our Environment.