Navi Mumbai: ‘Save Flamingo City, Protect Wetlands’, Greens Appeal To New Civic Chief Dr Kailas Shinde

Navi Mumbai: ‘Save Flamingo City, Protect Wetlands’, Greens Appeal To New Civic Chief Dr Kailas Shinde

With an aim to safeguard Navi Mumbai's flora and fauna, the environmentalists from satellite city have urged the municipal commissioner Dr Kailas Shinde to ensure that no further damage is done to the city's green zone and save the same from land sharks.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Monday, March 25, 2024, 08:16 PM IST
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Navi Mumbai: ‘Save Flamingo, Protect Wetlands’ | FPJ

Navi Mumbai: With an aim to safeguard Navi Mumbai's flora and fauna, the environmentalists from satellite city have urged the municipal commissioner Dr Kailas Shinde to ensure that no further damage is done to the city's green zone and save the same from land sharks.

Shinde, who moved from City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) to Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) as the civic body’s commissioner recently, declared on his first day of assuming charge at that he is familiar with the issues faced by the city as he was the Joint MD at CIDCO till the other day.

Calling the NMMC chief, NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar reminded the former of the NMMC’s promise to protect the flamingo destinations, namely the wetlands, amid CIDCO’s vehement opposition for it.

"We know it is a difficult to-do or not-to-do dilemma for Shinde now that he stepped into different shoes,” Kumar said but expressed hope that the quick mover that Shinde is, the officer will love to protect the environment.

In this context, NatConnect appreciated Shinde for acting with good speed to ensure the dismantling of the monstrous sign board that came in the way of flamingos flying into and out of the DPS Flamingo Lake. As many as seven pink birds died after crashing into the sign board.

NatConnect was among the first to suggest to NMMC and then write to the Chief Minister to give the tag of Flamingo City to Navi Mumbai. The civic body then wrote to the Union Urban development Ministry to allow the tag under Swachh Bharat campaign. In a written submission to Shinde, NatConnect raised two issues – wetland protection and open spaces.

The environmentalists had requested NMMC long ago to conserve the wetlands and to begin with the DPS Flamingo Lake which is also protected by a High Court judgement. The then Commissioner Abhijit Bangar had in fact requested CIDCO for allowing NMMC to maintain the lake as a tourist attraction since it is also a major flamingo destination, Kumar recalled. The NGO has now requested Shinde to take this forward.

As regards open spaces, an environmental activist pointed out that despite 232 gardens and 91 playgrounds, the open space in NMMC area works out to a pathetic 3 sqm per head, as it is lower than the norms set by the WHO and even AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation), which envisage 9 to 10 sq meter per person.

NMMC should take over all the remaining open spaces from CIDCO and develop them into green zones, he said. A case in point is the CRZ-dominated 25,000 sq mtr Plot 2A at Sector 54-56-58 which was marked for civic services and open ground in NMMC DP. But CIDCO floated a tender for it, the activist said and urged civic chief to insist with CIDCO and state government on retaining the plot for NMMC.

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