Navi Mumbai: CIDCO Plans Concrete Jungle On 16 Ha CRZ At Ulwe, Greens Warn Disaster

Navi Mumbai: CIDCO Plans Concrete Jungle On 16 Ha CRZ At Ulwe, Greens Warn Disaster

This means that the whole 16 hectares falls under Coastal regulation Zone, Kumar said and called for the State’s intervention to check an impending environmental disaster.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Friday, March 15, 2024, 06:16 PM IST
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CIDCO Bhavan in Navi Mumbai | File

With the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) earmarking the 16 Hectare temporary MTHL’s casting yard area at Ulwe coast for residential zone, environmentalists have said the recipe for disaster is complete. The casting yard has come up in 2019 on a tidally influential area, mudflats and sparse mangroves as can be clearly seen from the google earth maps of 2018, NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar pointed out in his latest SOS to the Chief Minister.

Details of project and concerns

This means that the whole 16 hectares falls under Coastal regulation Zone, Kumar said and called for the State’s intervention to check an impending environmental disaster. “At a time when we should be working on disaster management plans in view of the rising sea levels threatening to swallow the coastal area by 2050, we are sadly building more into the sea,” Kumar said.

About 10 acres from the casting yard area has been allotted to the Tirupati Balaji temple and another 3.6 acres to the Padmavati temple. CIDCO might take shelter under the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP, 2019, he said and argued that the plan itself is flawed as it has not considered the fact that the landfill area was a flourishing eco sensitive zone less than a year ago.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has been misled into reading the coastal area wrong as the temporary landfill has been sought to be converted into a permanent illegal reclamation, Kumar argued.

NatConnect has already lodged a complaint with the MoEF&CC against the faulty CZMP. The Centre has asked the state environment ministry to look into the issue. Based on the CZMP-2019, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has granted the conditional CRZ nod for the Balaji temple and NatConnect has already moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against it. The next hearing at the NGT’s western zonal bench is scheduled for March 18.

Sagar Shakti head Nandakumar said CIDCO seems to have made it a habit to play with nature and expose people to disasters. “The planning agency has leased out wetlands, mudflats and mangrove zones for infrastructure projects such as NMSEZ and JNPA SEZ who reclaimed vast stretches. Anyone can see that this landfill has led to blocking the natural flow of tidal water and unprecedented floods,” he said and regretted that none of the officials from the Konkan divisional commissioner, to the collector and even the elected representatives have bothered about the people’s plight. All efforts to get in touch with CIDCO officials proved futile.

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