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Kakinada: Environmentalists object to clearing mangroves for houses sites

Kakinada: Environmentalists object to clearing mangroves for houses sites
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Kakinada: East Godavari district officials are clearing the 115 acres of land with mangroves to make house sites to be distributed to the poor,...

Kakinada: East Godavari district officials are clearing the 115 acres of land with mangroves to make house sites to be distributed to the poor, according to environmentalists.

The land belongs to the Port Department. In the past, the Port authorities had allotted the land to industrialists on lease for building warehouses and also do business.

There is nearly 126 acres of land out of which 5 acres of land has been allotted to Railways. Remaining land has not been given to the industries as there is a salt creek. Later the mangroves were grown in the land, but it was not notified by the Forest Department.

According to environmentalists, as the mangroves are grown in the lands though it was not notified, it should not be destroyed. As per central government laws and several court judgments, the mangroves should not be destroyed.

Conservationists accused the officials of showing overenthusiasm in clearing the land of mangroves to make it as house sites to be distributed to the poor on Ugadi.

The land is proposed to be distributed as house sites to the poor under the housing scheme

Well-known environmentalist T Pathanjali Sastry said mangroves play important role in protecting sea shores from erosion, high winds and cyclone. They are strategically located between the land and sea.

He recalled that the Mumbai High Court had ordered that constructions within 50 metres on all sides of mangroves be stopped. The court also directed the Maharashtra government to collect crorer of rupees of fine from the District Collector due to destruction of the mangroves.

He said that the District Collector should play a key role in protecting biodiversity and he should stop the levelling the mangroves and creeks. Meanwhile, already INTACH of East Godavari Chapter expressed concern over the destruction of mangroves.

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