Activist state

Navi Mumbai: Worried Parsik Hill residents complain to state over felling of hills and destruction of trees | News from Navi Mumbai

NAVI MUMBAI: The association of residents of Parsik hill has again complained to the authorities about the continuous cutting of the hill facing the Sion-Panvel highway, and demanded an immediate investigation into the matter before that it does not become more perilous for them.
On Saturday, some residents also reported seeing trees cut down along the slope of the hill by a group of workers.
PHRA Chairman Jayant Thakur told TOI, “At present, there are 200 residential plots on Parsik hill in which more than 600 families reside.
However, for the past few weeks we have been seeing creeping cuts and slicing from the hillside towards the highway, which is very dangerous for us. A JCB machine is in use, but authorities like the Forest Department and Cidco have done nothing to stop the cutting so far. We want an investigation and an immediate halt to any further hill cutting.”
Another resident of Parsik hill, Vishnu Joshi said, “Recently, people of Kharghar protested against cutting and blasting of their hills. Likewise, we can also start protesting if nobody listens to our problem. The state must also confirm and inquire if a private owner and builder is causing damage to the hill, in addition to cutting down trees.”
Chief Conservator of Forests (Thane), SV Ramarao told TOI, “I will look into the issue of Parsik Hill as I don’t have all the details now.”
RTI campaigner Anarjit Chauhan said, “Forest department officials have informed me that Cidco is responsible for the hill. However, Cidco is only the custodian of Parsik hill, while the forest department is the main owner. Therefore, they must act since the locals face pressing environmental issues here.”
NatConnect Foundation activist BN Kumar said, “The state has learned nothing from previous landslide tragedies. I sent letters to the chief minister’s office and other agencies about this.
The CM referred the matter to Principal Secretary for Urban Development Bhushan Gagrani and Forestry Secretary B Venugopal Reddy.
There appears to be a plan to build a road on the slope of the hill on that side, Kumar said and warned the act could lead to landslides.
Meanwhile, local residents are also worried that a connecting road will be built from the top of the hill. “There is a huge water reservoir of NMMC at the top of Parsik hill. If the hill collapses due to ongoing ecological damage, the consequences can be tragic,” Kumar said.