Navi Mumbai municipal commissioner Abhijit Bangar has written to the Forest Department to take action if they found any destruction of two wetlands located at sector 56 in Nerul behind TS Chanakya and NRI complex. Environmentalists had raised concerns over the change in the natural flow of water between the two wetlands due to human interference.
The wetlands are natural habitats of migratory bird Flamingo and every year during winter, the wetland turns pink with the presence of a large number of flamingos.
However, due to blocking the inter-tidal water into the two wetlands, the migratory birds have started skipping the area and activists said the Flamingo City concept is thus threatened. Recently, Navi Mumbai city has received a tag of Flamingo city and the civic body has made paintings across the city as part of the Cleanliness Survey 2022.
Bangar has also appointed Dadasaheb Chabukaswar, deputy commissioner as the nodal officer to coordinate and follow-up with the Forest officials.
Every year during November and December, a large number of flamingos come and spend around four months. Of late environmentalists had alleged destruction of the creek forest area and feared the natural habitat of flamingos will no longer continue with disturbance in the natural flow of the tidal waves.
“Migratory bird flamingo birds come to the wetland of Navi Mumbai during the winter season and it adds significantly to the biodiversity of the city. A flock of flamingos looks like a pink sheet in a green environment on the blue waters with the reflection of the sky,” said an NMMC official. He added that not only bird watchers but also common citizens from far-flung cities come to Navi Mumbai to watch flamingos.
NatConnect Foundation Director B N Kumar has expressed the happiness that the municipal commissioner has moved positively. “We hope the Forest Department officials will quickly act to restore water flow to the wetlands,” he said and recalled that this is déjà vu of the sabotage of Panje wetland in Uran with similar tactics. Tidal water flow to Panje wetland has since been restored with the National Green tribunal stepping in.