Navi Mumbai: NGO NatConnect Foundation Writes To Prime Minister's Office Over Faulty Coastal Zone Map In Raigad

Navi Mumbai: NGO NatConnect Foundation Writes To Prime Minister's Office Over Faulty Coastal Zone Map In Raigad

Mentioning specifically about the coast line from Ulwe to Uran across Mumbai harbour, the letter stated that the area is ecologically very sensitive in view of not only the tidal influential zone, but due to the mangroves and mudflats.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 08:39 PM IST
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ANI

A Navi Mumbai-based non-profit organisation has written to the Prime Minister against faulty coastal zone management plan (CZMP) map in Raigad that has pushed the High Tide Line (HTL) back towards the sea. The NGO said it will have disastrous consequences for the coastline.

The letter by NatConnect Foundation, a not-for-profit platform dedicated to the cause of environment and connecting people with nature, has requested the Prime Minister’s Office to take action.

Mentioning specifically about the coast line from Ulwe to Uran across Mumbai harbour, the letter stated that the area is ecologically very sensitive in view of not only the tidal influential zone, but due to the mangroves and mudflats.

“City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) has been liberally leasing out these areas to various projects of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and casting yard for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL). The casting yard at Ulwe came up on mudflats and intertidal wetlands sometime in 2019. The google earth map of 2019 clearly shows all the biodiversity in the area,” the letter added.

Taking serious cognizance of the letter, the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has asked the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) to examine the nature and the extent of alleged grievance and submit a reply to the NatConnect Foundation with a copy to the MoEF&CC at the earliest.

The MoEF&CC has specifically asked the MCZMA to initiate action applicable as per law in case the grievance is found to be affirmative and serious in nature.

NatConnect Foundation Director B N Kumar said, “We sincerely hope that the state government will take the hitherto facts such as temporary landfills being considered as permanent reclamation,” Kumar said and added that the pushing back of the high tide line will have disastrous consequences for the coast.

The landfill for the temporary casting yard built for the MTHL has now been “wrongly, illegally and unauthorisedly” converted into a permanent landfill and thus the CZMP-2019 came to the wrong conclusion, he said.

Kumar also presented the google earth maps of 2018 and 2019 to showcase the destruction of tidal influential areas, sparse mangroves and mudflats for the casting yard. CIDCO has leased out 40,000 sq mt for the Tirupati Balaji temple at Ulwe.

The faulty CZMP has ultimately led to the “dramatic” rise in the buildable area of the temple from 11,000 sq mt to close to 38,000 sq mt, NatConnect said.

Stating that the faulty CZMP has altered the nature of coastal areas in Uran as well, Nandakumar Pawar, head of Sagar Shakti, said, “The state government and the Centre have connived to push back the HTL and showed wetlands, mudflats and rich fishing zones as developable land parcels. CIDCO has leased out huge areas to JNPA thanks to this wrong mapping without taking ground situation into consideration,” he added.

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