Despite having been a year since action was taken against the illegal parking of vehicles in Dahisar, hundreds of tourist vehicles were still found illegally parked near the mangroves and water body along the new link road in Dahisar on Sunday.

Under the rules for wetlands, encroaching upon or destroying mangroves is illegal. It also violates the orders issued by the Bombay high court to protect the green cover.

“A large number of mangrove trees and a water body have been destroyed to make way for these buses. The law, judiciary and government machinery are to blame for destruction of the wetland. Bus operators are profiting from it,” said Harish Pandey, secretary of New Link Road Residents’ Forum that filed a complaint with the police, civic body and state mangrove cell on Monday.

Taking into consideration the PIL files by NGO Bombay Environment Action Group in 2005, the Bombay High Court banned destruction of mangroves and construction within their 50-m periphery. NGO Vanashakti filed another PIL in the HC in 2014 due to which construction and reclamations on wetlands was banned.

In March 2016, there was a report in which it was mentioned that 1,000 mangroves had been cut to create space to park tourist buses along the new link road between Dahisar and Borivali. In another report, though the buses were removed, the district collector’s office ordered an investigation into the incident.

Some officials of the mangrove cell said that the site was a private land that falls under the jurisdiction of the district collector. Officials of the district collector’s office said they have launched an investigation into the matter. Babasaheb Pardhe, sub-divisional officer (SDO), Mumbai suburban said, We have ordered the Borivli tehsildar (revenue officer) to inspect the site and find out how buses were allowed to be parked there.”

Archana Mule, tehsildar, Borivli, said, “With a hearing on a petition related to mangroves going on in the HC, the bench has directed all district administrations not to file cases directly with the police and submit their reports to the court instead. Our officers will visit the site on Tuesday. We will draft a panchnama on the alleged violation and submit it to the SDO. We will also check how the operators got the permission to park their vehicles in this area.”

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