Kakinada: NGT panel begins probe into alleged mangroves destruction
- Environmentalist K Mruthyunjaya Rao says destruction of mangroves at Kakinada sea cost has affected the arrival of migratory birds
- Locals gave various version of details on the existence of Mangroves
Kakinada: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Chennai team made a thorough investigation regarding the destruction of the mangroves at house sites in Kakinada on Thursday.
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOEF and CC), Chennai Scientist Dr Pandey inspected the salt creek lands, house sites and destruction of mudflat by the GMR group at Kakinada coast.
Joint Collector Dr G Lakshmisha, Smart City CEO and MD and Kakinada Municipal Commissioner Swapnil Dinakar Pundkar, RDO AG Chinni Krishna, MRO Sathish and other officials were present on the occasion.
Dr Pandey made an exhaustive study and enquired about the mangroves in the place. He obtained full details from the Joint Collector G Lakshmisha as well as other revenue officials.
The NGT team looking at the levelled grounds wanted to know where exactly the mangroves were existed prior to the levelling of the ground. Pandey asked revenue officials to bring at least one or two plants of mangrove trees to confirm their existence in the ground. Local NGO leader Rambabu explained regarding the presence of several mangrove trees in the area. He further remarked that by destroying the mangroves they have caused immense harm to the environment.
Former Kakinada TDP MLA Vanamadi Venkateswar Rao (Kondababu) informed that the mangroves have been existing for the last few decades. But the present government has destroyed the mangroves and earmarked vacant sites for the houses of the poor. He complained to the NGT regarding the destruction of the mangroves to convert the vacant sites for constructing the houses to the poor. He also elaborated on the losses caused to the fisherman community by the destruction of the mangroves.
A section of local people has given a different version to the Scientist Dr Pandey about the mangroves here. They pointed out no mangroves existed in that place but in the Korangi region. They also contend that the existence of mangroves was false and fabricated as the government was planning to provide a housing colony for them. Some people were jealous and creating hurdles for the social welfare activities of the government in providing houses for the poor. If mangroves had existed then why did the TDP government give permission to HP gas godown, they questioned.
Later, the NGT team inspected and enquired about the GMR's role in the destruction of mangroves at Kakinada sea cost. Environmentalist K Mruthyunjaya Rao explained to the NGT Scientist Dr Pandey regarding the disappearance of the greenery and the arrival of birds prior to the destruction of this area by the GMR. But the area where permission was given to the company for dredging activity was full of mudflats, mangroves and nesting centre of several migratory birds. He said that the dredging has been made without concern for the mudflats and other environment resources. He also showed the beautiful photos and detail report prior to the levelling of the ground by the GMR group. He said that another distinguishing feature of the area is the visit of unique birds which don't go to any other places except this place. He said that unfortunately those birds have vanished. He urged the NGT to restore the mangroves.
Dr Pandey said that he would advise the GMR group to restore the glory and beauty of the region again.