Thane: Come February and bird enthusiasts in Mumbai will be able to watch the winged creatures, including flamingos, in the creek in neighbouring Thane district. The mangrove cell of the Maharashtra forest department has decided to start a 10-km boat ride in the Thane Creek where nature lovers will be able to watch several birds and the dense cover of mangroves.
“All the necessary permissions have been obtained and we are ready to sail in the Thane Creek,” Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests N Vasudevan told PTI.
“We want people from the highly commercialised Mumbai region to get a feel of the nature and environment. There is an unexplored biodiversity around Mumbai which we want the people to see,” he said.
“It would be a nearly three-hour journey facilitating the ride for 25 people in a boat. The current charges are fixed at Rs 300 per person,” Vasudevan said. The bookings for the tour can be done online. “The boat ride will be a treat for nature lovers. We have roped in some experts on nature and wildlife who have consented to play the role of guides for tourists,” he said.
“They can explain to visitors about the existing marine life, mangroves, birds and the abundance of flora and fauna along the creek during the ride,” Vasudevan said. The visitors can watch flamingos and other birds from a closer distance from the boat, he said. In 2016, the state government had declared a large part of the Thane Creek as a ‘Flamingo Sanctuary’ to safeguard the bird’s population. It is the state’s second marine sanctuary, the other one being at Sindhudurg in coastal Konkan region. Notably, the state mangrove cell had last year set up the Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre at Airoli along the Thane Creek.The centre aims to provide a glimpse into the marine and coastal biodiversity around Mumbai.