The area covered by mangroves in Mumbai has seen a substantial rise, the Maharashtra government said.
Replying to a debate on mangroves in the Legislative Assembly, state forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that as per a 2014 report of Dehradun based Forest Survey of India, Mangroves are spread across 200 hectares area in Mumbai city and on 4,300 hectares area in Mumbai suburbs.
Whereas in 2000, Mumbai city’s mangroves area was 200 hectares while Mumbai suburbs was 3,200 hectares, he said.
“This shows that there has been significant increase in mangroves area since the year 2000,” Mungantiwar said.
The minister further said as per the Bombay High court order mangroves area in government land is “restricted forest” while on private land, it is “forest”.
“Accordingly, government declared mangroves area of 4,000 hectare in Mumbai city and suburbs as restricted forest while 1,774 hectare forest area in Mumbai suburbs on private land has been declared as forest,” he added.
Replying to supplementaries raised by Ashish Shelar (BJP) on whether mangroves area will be declared as open space in the proposed Development Plan and creation of Mangroves Park, Mungantiwar said decision would be taken in accordance with the High court directives.
To another supplementary by Manisha Chaudhary (BJP) regarding action to be taken against individuals responsible for destruction of mangroves, the forest minister said stern action would be taken against the guilty.