Navi Mumbai: CIDCO Complaints Against NMMC For Clearing Blockage In DPS Lake

Navi Mumbai: CIDCO Complaints Against NMMC For Clearing Blockage In DPS Lake

The complaint said that NMMC had not taken CIDCO’s permission before starting the work.

Raina AssainarUpdated: Saturday, June 15, 2024, 02:08 AM IST
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Navi Mumbai: CIDCO Complaints Against NMMC For Clearing Blockage In DPS Lake | FPJ

In an unprecedented development, the city planner CIDCO has given a written complaint to NRI Coastal police against Navi Mumbai Muncipal Corporation for opening the blocked water inlets at the DPS Flamingo lake in Nerul. The shocked greens have stated that this act of CIdco just confirms the allegations on them about their intention to develop the DPS lake into a money-making infrastructure, without caring for the environment. 

A letter signed by CIDCO’s executive engineer at Vashi and addressed to the Senior Police Inspector of the Coastal Police said that MLA Ganesh Naik had visited the DPS Flamingo Lake area on May 23 and directed NMMC officials to open the blocked channels. Accordingly, NMMC contractors broke an existing 300 mm pipe and replaced it with a 600 mm pipe and even drew water from the creek with the help of 10 horse power motors.

The complaint said that NMMC had not taken CIDCO’s permission before starting the work.

NatConnect Foundation, which got hold of the letter through its sources, expressed shock and dismay at the development. “CIDCO, on the contrary, is at fault by blocking the tidal water flow to the lake while constructing the road to the passenger water transport terminal, known as Nerul jetty. CIDCO, in its letter, claimed that the DPS Lake issue is under the Supreme Court’s consideration but did not give any details. Both CIDCO and NMMC fall under the State Government’s Urban Development Department. CIDCO also expressed the apprehension that the pumping of creek water into the lake could lead to the growth of mangroves which in turn could impact CIDCO’s plans to undertake any development in the area and even cause major financial losses,” BN Kumar director of NatConnect, said.

Kumar recalled that CIDCO had violated its own undertaking while starting the work on the jetty that it would not interfere with the free flow of water. “The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) had also stipulated, while allowing diversion of 46 hectares of mangroves for the jetty, that the water flow should not be impacted. Yet, it was violated,” Kumar added.

Rekha Sankhla, an activist has said that it is the biggest joke that someone could actually complaint against someone who has tried to save the nature. “CIDCO were their themselves while we were doing the investigation on Flamingo death. It is clear that CIDCO is not a protector, but an oppressor, who are here to commercialise every single piece of land available. It is a nexus of Builder lobby and CIDCO. They don’t care for the environment and they act as per their own whims and fancies. Their DP shows future development on the DPS lake and they will find ways to do that. We need to keep reminding them what they are doing is bad for the environment. They need to reverse the DP plan. We owe to the city for the visit by the Flamingoes. And for the flamingoes to continue visiting, the lake needs water,” she said.

Director Vanashakti Stalin Dayanand expressed that this action by cidco makes it clear that they are hell bent on driving out the Flamingoes from the lake. “Last time when the lake was dry, the birds flew to the Airport side and got hit by the airplane. By this act of objecting to the work of NMMC, CIDCO is risking the lives of the flamingos as well as those flying in aircrafts from Mumbai. The responsibility of the lives of people in the plane in such a situation is solely on CIDCO,” Dayanand said.

The DPS Flamingo Lake was in focus as the waterbody had dried out completely and flamingos landing there got disoriented while searching for food. Due to this crisis, close to 10 pink birds died. MLA Ganesh Naik’s visit to the lake followed a hue and cry raised by environmentalists and local residents such as Rekha Sankhala.

Sandeep Sareen of Navi Mumbai Environment Preservation Society (NMEPS) said CIDCO apparently wants to convert the wetland into a commercial property “which we shall not allow.” 

Netra Shirke, a former corporator from Nerul who was furious about the development has said that they would wage a war against CIDCO to get them out of the city. “We are going to declare a war against CIdco. They have no rights to destroy the nature and the natural habitat of flamingo. It is time that they move out of the city as they have done enough development. Town planning department is with NMMC so what business do they have now here. We wont allow any kind of construction on DPS lake. This is nothing but blatant misuse of the power. They have whole of  NAINA to develop and they should concentrate there. Flamingoes are our pride and now we will show CIDCO the power of the common man,” SHirke said.

Shirke added that they would approach National Green Tribunal, High Court  and also meet Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister and demand removal of CIDCO body from Navi Mumbai.

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