Cement mixing plants come up amid mangroves in Thane: NGO

The NGO said at least half a dozen operational cement mixing plants were found in Anjur village on the opposite side of the road, also built on patches of reclaimed mangroves. (Sourced)

An environmental group has written to authorities seeking action against fresh encroachments at two mangrove sites in Anjur and Dive villages in Thane. It has highlighted that several concrete mixing plants have been built in areas that are under Coastal Regulatory Zone protection. These encroachments have blocked the flow of water to nearby mangroves, it added.

The group said one concrete mixing plant was still under construction in the intertidal area in addition to a road. “The site in question is near Dive village creek on the left as one travels from Thane to Nashik. An illegal road has been made by dumping on mudflats... apparently, an illegal cement plant is sought to be established inside the mangroves,” wrote D Stalin, director, Vanashakti, an NGO, attaching geotagged pictures

Stalin, in his letter to the Thane Municipal Corporation’s Mangrove Cell, said at least half a dozen operational cement mixing plants were found in Anjur village on the opposite side of the road, also built on patches of reclaimed mangroves. He added additionally, dumping of debris (suspected from an under-construction township adjacent to the Dive creek) has also caused a blockade for tidewater.

“The...plants are worrying. Such equipment is typically set up close to where the concrete is going to be used, and it means a fairly large quantity of concrete is being produced. One hopes that it won’t end up in the mangroves, but the authorities will have to act fast and put a stop to it. The persons responsible are already in violation by having set up cement plants inside the intertidal area,” Stalin said.

Unlike earthen bunds, which were demolished by the forest department in Dahisar last month, concrete encroachments are more difficult to remove and would cause more pollution.

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