Navi Mumbai: Mountain Day drive to save Kharghar Hill and biodiversity

Kharghar Hill and Wetland, NatConnect Foundation and adventure sports platform Anubhuti Endeavours have come together to raise public awareness on the need to conserve the hills

Amit SrivastavaUpdated: Friday, December 09, 2022, 09:21 PM IST
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Navi Mumbai: Mountain Day drive to save Kharghar Hill and biodiversity | FPJ

Navi Mumbai: From a hundred-metre-high banner to a signature drive to save the Kharghar Hills, green groups have drawn up a two-day programme to celebrate International Mountain Day this Saturday and Sunday. 

Kharghar Hill and Wetland, NatConnect Foundation and adventure sports platform Anubhuti Endeavours have come together to raise public awareness on the need to conserve the hills joining International Mountain Day – 2022 being celebrated on December 11.

Festival details

Kharghar Hill Festival will start with a gathering at the venue – Pandavkada View Point, next to Kharghar Gurudwara and Golf Course – where experts will guide the people on the importance of the hills in our lives. This will be followed by a host of activities such as nature trail, trekking and plogging, Jyoti Nadkarni of Kharghar Hill and Wetland group said.

Kharghar Hills has been under constant attack, be it by indiscriminate quarrying or digging and scraping with heavy machines like JCB, NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar pointed out. “In fact, the hill at the golf course has been cut from the bottom and middle without the environmental clearances,” Kumar said quoting an RTI response from the Environment department.

CIDCO had a proposal to build a nature park and that has to be revived instead of going for creating a concrete jungle on the plateau, Kumar said.

“It is also not about the scenic beauty, it is about preserving a whole lot of biodiversity on the hills,” Nadkarni said. 

The planned township on Kharghar Hills Plateau will adversely impact the biodiversity of the area and the hills’ capacity of holding water, she said. 

“Right from the water you drink to the food you have, mountains have a big role in our lives,” Sudeep Athavale, director of Anubhuti Endeavours said. Mountains also help conserve biodiversity hence it is our duty to protect them so we as species can live peacefully, Athavale said.

Mountaineering and education experts Nisarg Mitra and TCSR - Trek Climb Slack Rescue - are providing technical support for the festival.

 487 plant species on the Hill

Researchers say that a survey revealed populations of 487 plant species on the Hill, apart from the presence of 10 endangered and rare plant species. Despite the fact that the Nature Park is situated amidst residential and industrial zones, the results are encouraging. Researchers found 295 insect species, 15 other invertebrates, 12 fishes, 9 amphibians, 28 reptiles, 179 birds and 12 mammals species.

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