Observing World Clean-up Day on Saturday, a section of residents organised a mangrove clean-up drive in Navi Mumbai. They collected around 20 bags full of trash from the mangroves at T S Chanakya near Seawoods NRI complex and DPS lake.
Under the aegis of the Rotary Club of Navi Mumbai – The Flamingo City, members of Navi Mumbai Environment Preservation Society (NMEPS), NRI Green Loyals and Environment Life Foundation joined the drive. They were surprised to see trash that was choking the mangroves including lots of thermocol, bottles, plastic bags, shampoo sachets, syringes and shoes.
The volunteers picked up hundreds of plastic bags at a nursery site off Palm Beach Road which showed the trash that is left behind after plant lovers pick up saplings.
“This is such a paradox as we love plants and at the same time indulge in such an anti-nature act by throwing the black plastic bags,” said Rekha Sankhala, president-elect of Rotary Club of Flamingo City.
Though Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) cancelled its scheduled Indian Swachhta League programme given the heavy rain forecast, the civic officials gave a lot of support to the mangrove clean-up drive, Rekha said and thanked Deputy Commissioner D S Chabukswar and Dr Babasaheb Rajale. Sanitary inspector Vijay Naik and officer Vijay Padgar coordinated the ground efforts.
Appreciating the cleanup drive, NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar said the trash collected shows the irresponsible behaviour of people in general. “We throw so much muck into the sea and the drains which are filtered by mangroves,” he said, adding that they have no business in choking the biodiversity and adversely impacting the breeding grounds of fish.
Anjali Agrawal, Chitra Choudhary, Gargi Seth and Meenakshi Bhalla mobilised BRI Green Loyals, while Anupam Verma and Sandeep Bangia led NMEPS volunteers. It was interesting to see many young children participating in the drive, Anjali said.
Rekha thanked the State Mangrove Cell, particularly DFO Adarsh Reddy and Deputy Director Dr Sheetal Pachpande, for their support. In fact, Mangrove Cell's Navi Mumbai unit's team consisted of- Deepak Chavan, Vijay Desale, D. D. More, Mangal Ovhal, Sneha Satav and Panchashila Kamble – actively participated in the drive by guiding the volunteers.
“NMMC picked up the trash bags for proper disposal and “the muck shows what we should not throw into the sea,” said Bangia NMEPS.