Over the past month, like-minded citizens and 12 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) joined hands to remove 6,000 kg trash, mostly comprising plastic, from a 10-acre mangrove patch and a water body at sector 8, Charkop in Kandivli (west).
Article source: Hindustan Times
The group has been supported by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), the state forest department and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as they participated in the cleanup on June 3 and on Sunday.
Armed with gloves and caps, the groups collected 30 large bags (weighing 100 kg each) during the first cleanup drive as a run-up to World Environment Day. “We decided to make this a continuous drive so that this natural area remains garbage free and request citizens not to make such natural spots a dumping ground,” said Kishore Shetty, one of the residents.
The Charkop mangroves, protected as reserved forest, is home to over 250 bird species, reptiles, crustaceans and fish, according to the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). The area has been under threat with several destruction cases reported over the past year, and fires lit purposely to remove the salt tolerant plants and construct illegal structures. So far, 2,500 encroachments have been removed from the Charkop mangroves.
“For the longest time, we had been witnessing the unnecessary destruction of this natural area through recurring fires and hacked trees and needed to do something about it. So, we came together as a group and were supported by authorities to ensure this important bird habitat is protected,” said Mili Shetty, one of the residents who has led the cleanup and has been an environmental crusader in safeguarding the Charkop mangroves. “Mumbai’s ecology continues to be under threat, and we as citizens need to take up the mantle for ensuring cleaner air and healthy surroundings.”