In the latest development, the BMC will be appointing a company/agency to conduct an environmental impact assessment for Powai lake. After facing flak over its plans to construct a cycle track, landfilling activities and removal of hyacinth around Powai lake, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to conduct an environmental impact assessment before taking up construction work around the lake.
According to sources in the BMC, the tender process has already begun and the project is estimated to cost Rs 72 lakh to the BMC coffers.
The development comes three days after a green activist and director of NGO Vanashakti Stalin D alleged that the landfilling and removal of water hyacinth from Powai lake is destroying the habitat of Indian marsh crocodiles existing in the 130-year-old lake. In a complaint letter to the collector of Mumbai suburban, municipal commissioner, Central Pollution Control Bureau (CPCB), Maharashtra Pollution Control Bureau (MPCB), PCCF, Wetlands Redressal Committee, secretary of the environment department of the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Stalin also alleged that the ongoing activity of landfilling and removal of water hyacinth is a clear breach of court orders.
BMC in a press statement issued on Friday said (BMC) that before starting the revival and restoration work of Powai lake, BMC will appoint an agency to conduct an environmental impact assessment for Powai lake. The civic body had already formed an expert committee comprising of former NEERI director Dr. Rakesh Kumar, marine biologist Dr. Deepak Apte, Powai lake researcher Dr. Pramod Salaskar and herpetologist Kedar Bhide to monitor the environmental aspects of the revival project and help enhance the biodiversity of Powai Lake.
"It was suggested by the expert committee that an environmental impact assessment be conducted. The agency will have to conduct detailed mapping of the lake and its surroundings with the help of drones, study the biodiversity in and around the lake including marine species, reptiles etc. Collecting samples of environmental components. Conduct detailed hydrological modelling, taking high-quality pictures of the current state of Powai lake and geotagging them. Conducted an environmental impact assessment with a hydrological perspective. The company/agency will also be responsible for examining the Powai lake's connection with other water bodies nearby and its impact," said a BMC official.