In an attempt to monitor the usage of natural resources and protect the biodiversity of the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be setting up its first ever Biodiversity Management Committee.
Earlier on December 1, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar had given her consent on the formation of the committee. The 23-member committee will have five environmentalists with expertise in various branches, seven corporators and eight municipal officials from different departments along with two special invitee post for an MLA as well as an MP each.
The civic body had initiated the formation of a biodiversity panel in 2017 following the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court ordered to have a biodiversity panel in all the urban governance bodies. However, officials in the civic body stated that it took some time to finalise the name of the experts due to the factors of frequent transfers of government officials.
As per the Biodiversity Act, this committee will regulate access to the natural resources and will help in conservation and preservation of the diversity.
"The National Green Tribunal also ordered the state to maintain the Biodiversity Act, which is why the forming of the panel was necessary" said an official.
The official further stated that the committee will be having four meetings every year and the primary agenda of this committee will be to adhere by the Biodiversity Act guidelines. The panel will conduct comprehensive study of the natural resources and formulate a people's register.
The five environmentalists selected for the panel are - Jitendra Ramgaonkar, field director of Tadoba Tiger Reserve, Dr Deepak Apte - ornithologist, Mahesh Palkar - education officer, Subhash Patne - horticulturist and Mayur Kamat - wildlife warden.
However, when FPJ contacted Ramgaonkar, he said it is unlikely of him to be in the panel as he is now being transferred to Tadoba. He also said that there could be a chance that his name was proposed when he was posted in Mumbai earlier.