Navi Mumbai: Environmentalists have questioned the wisdom of allowing compensatory plantations in another district for the loss of mangroves in Navi Mumbai. The city has already grappled with rising pollution and further deforestation and removal of mangroves will only fuel the current situation.
For the proposed coastal road from Amra Marg to MTHL Junction including the airport-link road at Targhar village in Panvel taluka, Raigad district will see a diversion of 32.6921 ha of forest land. While applying for diversion of forest land including compensatory plantation, CIDCO had pointed out that there is a need to provide an exclusive road to serve the traffic demand arising out of the developments expected from Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) and JNPT which is the largest container port in India.
Coastal road is an important transport connectivity link
It stated that Coastal road serves an important link in the overall transport network around the proposed NMIA. The coastal road provides connectivity with MTHL, Amra Marg, Airport Terminal road, already developed nodal arterial roads for optimum and judicious use.
However, the compensatory mangrove plantation will be carried out on degraded forest land at Village Shevare Khurd, Parola Taluka in District Jalgaon.
The so-called infrastructure development is already playing havoc with the lives of people in Navi Mumbai causing unseasonal floods and leading to rising air pollution, NatConnect Foundation.
The development of the coastal road is bound to impact the ecologically sensitive coastal area considering the fact that as much as 4.4 lakh sq meter area, including CRZ1, will have to be aligned, in other words, to be impacted, NatConnect director B N Kumar said.
He asked: “With huge flyovers and wide roads already under development in the areas connecting the upcoming airport, JNPA and the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), do we need the coastal road?”
Greens raise question
Green groups have also questioned the wisdom of allowing compensatory plantation in the Jalgaon district for the loss of mangroves in Navi Mumbai. How will these native plants, more than 360 km away, compensate the mangroves on the coast, Kumar asked.
Reminding that the world over the planners are grappling with the impending crisis due to the rising sea levels, Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Pratishtan, said the government here is planning increased construction into the sea.