Navi Mumbai: CM Eknath Shinde Orders UD Department To Conserve DPS Lake In Nerul

Navi Mumbai: CM Eknath Shinde Orders UD Department To Conserve DPS Lake In Nerul

It also reminded NMMC of its plans to conserve the wetland as the then commissioner Abhijit Bangar has written to CIDCO.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Thursday, March 07, 2024, 08:48 PM IST
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FPJ

Navi Mumbai: Responding to complaint from Navi Mumbai-based NGO, NatConnect Foundation to save the 30-acre flamingo abode DPS Lake at Nerul from getting buried for real estate, the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has asked the Urban Development Department to look into the issue.

“We have received a mail from the Chief Minister’s Office marking it to the Principal Secretary (UD-1), Aseem Gupta, asking him to take action,” NatConnect director B N Kumar said.

Controversy Over Development Plans For Wetland In Navi Mumbai

Kumar’s complaint said that the wetland faces fresh dangers as Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) in its draft development plan marked it as sector 52 which means that concrete structures will come up there. NMMC’s argument is that it merely reflected the CIDCO’s nodal plan which earmarked the lake area for “future development”.

It also reminded NMMC of its plans to conserve the wetland as the then commissioner Abhijit Bangar has written to CIDCO to maintain the lake in association with BNHS as a tourist attraction.

Activists Share Their Concern Over Pink Birds

“In fact, NMMC has built protective fencing at the lake along the service road off Palm Beach Road to prevent human intervention. This followed environmentalists’ complaints against bird watchers getting too close to the pink birds resting in the lake,” activist and birder Jyoti Nadkarni said.

“There have been cases of people getting stuck in the mud. Another disturbing trend was that selfie enthusiasts would throw stones at the birds to make them fly for creating a dramatic backdrop for the photographs,” Kumar lamented.

NMMC Builds Watch Tower For Tourists

Now, NMMC has built watch towers as well for getting a wide angle view of the lake and the avian guests.

The lake adjoining the DPS school in the neighbourhood of NRI Seawoods which has been a flamingo destination for many years, is also protected under a High Court judgement of November 2018. On a petition by the Navi Mumbai Environment Preservation Society (NMEPS) and Save Navi Mumbai Environment Group, against the landfill of the lake, the court had restrained CIDCO from destructing the DPS lake in any manner by carrying on any development activity.

Verdict Orders Actions To Protect Wetland

While directing CIDCO to remove all debris and open a channel for ensuring free flow of tidal water into the lake, the verdict had also named NMMC and the forest department to take steps to protect the lake.

Even as the water flow has been stopped all over again, another environmentalist Rekha Sankhla had approached the Mangrove Cell. The Mangrove Cell officials visited the area and their action is now awaited. It is pertinent to note that there are many mangroves around the lake.

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