Navi Mumbai Residents Oppose Development Plan Changes, Write To CM Eknath Shinde

Navi Mumbai Residents Oppose Development Plan Changes, Write To CM Eknath Shinde

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) acknowledged receipt of the March 28 letter on April 1 and has since forwarded it to the department concerned for prompt action.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Wednesday, April 03, 2024, 10:09 PM IST
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Navi Mumbai Residents Oppose Development Plan Changes, Write To CM Eknath Shinde | X/CMO

Navi Mumbai: Residents of Navi Mumbai have written to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, urging him to address proposed changes in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s (NMMC) development plan (DP), specifically to save mangroves along the city’s coast and transferring their guardianship to the forest department for preservation.

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) acknowledged receipt of the March 28 letter on April 1 and has since forwarded it to the department concerned for prompt action.

The NMMC’s recently unveiled development plan, the first in its 33-year history, aims to enhance transportation, modernise infrastructure, and expand affordable housing. However, residents, particularly from the Nerul node, have voiced opposition and seek an opportunity to present their concerns, should the state government endorse NMMC’s proposals. As reported by the FPJ earlier, several water bodies in Nerul have been de-reserved in the DP, opening up possibilities of construction over them.

Highlighting the importance of the mangroves lining the west side of Palm Beach Road as vital green zones, the residents have stressed upon their ecological importance in mitigating climate change-induced events like unseasonal flooding.

“Changes will result in existing water bodies and mangroves areas diverted by reclamation for residential and other uses. Reclamation of land in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) area is not permissible for residential use and all the existing water bodies and wetlands are to be protected. The civic body has proposed such changes which, if allowed, will lead to attempts by vested interests for illegal development,” the residents said in the letter.

Taking strong objection to the changes proposed in Nerul node, the letter said, “As per the changes proposed by the NMMC, the land existing as water body in pocket A of sector 60 is now proposed to be changed to residential. This area is popularly known as Chanakya lake as it is next to TS Chanakya Maritime Institute on the west side abutting the Thane creek. It appears that not referring to Chanakya lake in the description is an attempt to make the proposed change appear innocuous when it is a very major deviation to use an existing lake full of local and migratory birds and is also connected to the Thane creek which replenishes the water in the lake.”

They added that Chanakya lake is protected by the Bombay High Court interim order dated April 29, 2014 as well as final order dated November 1, 2018 in a PIL. Similarly, the TS Chanakya wetlands are a part of the National Wetlands Atlas and therefore protected by the Bombay High Court dated October 14, 2013 and July 25, 2016 in a 2013 PIL as well as the Supreme Court orders of February 8, 2017 and October 4, 2017.

“The National Green Tribunal, the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court have passed clear-cut orders to preserve mangroves and wetlands but the public institutions like the NMMC and City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) are unable to implement them,” the letter mentioned.

“The changes are against public policy, CRZ rules, Wetlands Act and mangroves protection. These changes are also not keeping with the government policy to protect environment,” the letter added.

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