Navi Mumbaikars Take To Wetlands Against Mangroves Destruction

Navi Mumbaikars Take To Wetlands Against Mangroves Destruction

According to residents, the destruction of mangroves continues despite Bombay High Court judgement protecting these mangroves in September 2018.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Saturday, March 16, 2024, 05:41 PM IST
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Navi Mumbaikars Take To Wetlands Against Mangroves Destruction |

Mumbai: Carrying placards and amidst sloganeering, over 40 Navi Mumbai residents walked along TS Chanakya Wetlands on Saturday morning to protest alleged destruction of mangroves by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) and some real estate players in the name of development. According to residents, the destruction of mangroves continues despite Bombay High Court judgement protecting these mangroves in September 2018.

The march was organised by the NGO, Save Navi Mumbai Environment and supported by other organisations such as Alert Citizens Forum, Environment Life Foundation, Sanskaar Foundation and Prakalapgrast Palak Sanstha.

“Most of the areas where there is abundance of mangroves, it is in the possession of CIDCO and the planning agency didn’t hand over the areas to the forest department even after more than 5 years of passing the order. CIDCO also doesn't take any steps to protect these mangroves. I sometimes feel that CIDCO is behind all this destruction so that they can use the area without seeking Bombay High Court permission to cut the mangroves,” Founder of Save Navi Mumbai Environment, Sunil Agrawal, who had organised the march, said.

“Similar destruction was seen in Pocket A, Sector 60, Nerul where large scale cutting of mangroves took place since CIDCO has given possession of the area to private builder Mistry Construction in October, 2016. Even though the matter is pending in Supreme Court, the area remains in possession of Mistry Construction Co Pvt Ltd making it very easy for them to cut the mangroves. It's like making a fox in-charge of the hen house,” Agrawal added.

Residents say that more than 100 trees were cut by Mistry Constructions in December, 2023. But even these cut mangroves were getting revived with green leaves. Now once again the builder has poured some chemical on these plants and the leaves are turning brown while the trees are dying. They have asked the authorities to act and protect the mangroves besides getting compensatory plantation of mangroves done in the same area.

On the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) submitting the city’s development plan for the first time after 33 years of the civic body’s formation wherein it proposes to convert wetlands into residential zones, the residents say that it's ridiculous the way the town planning is happening in the city.

“The world is talking about sustainable development, creating carbon sinks by conserving remaining forests and wetlands and here we at Navi Mumbai are hell bent on destroying the pristine wetlands and mangrove forests. The town planners need to seriously introspect and do planning holistically and not just abide to the ever-growing greed and the need of only the builder lobby. While on one hand, NMMC wants the city to be called as Flamingo city, on the other it is destroying the wetland where they actually come,” said a resident of Sector 58 A, Nerul, Amitabh Singh.

Echoing similar feelings, a resident of Karave village, Samrat Patil said that an FIR has been filed on January 16, 2024 against mangroves slaughter at Karave Village Flamingo Park, but after two months, the mangroves that were killed are again chemically sprayed. “Have the protectors of the law become predators?” he asked.

"For the authorities, ‘Save Environment’ seems to be just a slogan while ‘Destroy Environment’ is an actual action. CIDCO and NMMC officials are acting like puppets at the hands of some builders and politicians. They should be ashamed of themselves,” Belapur resident Sudhir Dani said.

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