Mumbai: Thanekars see red over depleting green cover

People living in Thane and green activists are worried over the loss of green spaces in the city. Volunteers and locals joined hands to highlight the importance of green covers and wetlands on the occasion of World Wetlands day on February 2.

The volunteers from Muse Foundation (an NGO) revealed the loss of green cover along Kolshet Creek, which sees the Smart City's Project of Waterfront Development. "After a thorough comparison of satellite images from 2003 to 2020, it has been revealed that a massive area of 2.87 hectare has vanished over the years. The very location is now seeing the Waterfront Development Project (WDP) coming up," said Nishant Bangera, founder of Muse foundation, Thane.

"The 2.87-hectare area housed mangroves and was a lush green land that saw a gradual loss due to unknown factors, especially after 2009," he added.

Volunteers allege that instead of recovering the green patch which is vital for the health of the creek and the city, Thane Smart City project is going ahead with the ‘development’ of the water front.

"The work on WDP has been ongoing even before Town Planning's reservation for the plot has been officially changed. The debris dumping at the site has violated the CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) norms," said Mohit Murlidharan, 27, Muse volunteer and resident of Thane.

The loss of Wetland and green space has already led to man-animal conflicts. Recently, a jackal strayed in the city and spotted near a medical shop. The animal was later rescued by civic officials.

"The Muse Foundation's attempt is to provide photographic evidence of massive green cover loss at Kolshet's fragile creek. Hence, we demand the current WDP be relooked at and see a complete plan change to comply with all the green norms and local demands," added Murlidharan.

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