Pond in Maharashtra faces brunt of developmental activities, activists call for check against violations by govt agencies
Geetanjali Minhas | February 19, 2020 | Mumbai
To protect the fast depleting wetlands against being used as landfill and for development activities in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR), environmentalists have asked the centre to declare the 289-hectare Panje wetlands in Uran tehsil of Raigarh district as a ‘Ramsar site’ and preserve its ecological character.
The Panje wetland has hundreds of varieties of native and migratory birds and been declared as the holding pond, a flood controlled mechanism, for the upcoming Dronagiri node by City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO). Yet it has also earmarked it for real estate development as part of Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone (NMSEZ).
“There has been a wanton destruction of mangroves and wetlands all across Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) in the ecologically sensitive Uran by project proponents like NMSEZ, Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust Special Economic Zone (JNPT SEZ), National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and others. Vast stretches of wetlands and over 20,000 mangroves have been destroyed at the fourth JNPT container terminal, NH-348 (near Punjab warehouses CFS) and NMSEZ sites by illegal landfill. As many as 20 out of the 27 villages were submerged in waters last monsoon and NMSEZ projects across 1,250 hectares should be immediately stopped,” said Nandkumar Pawar of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan.
BN Kumar, director, NatConnect Foundation, said that the JNPT was fined last year for causing death of 4,500 mangroves, but it continues to destroy the sea plant for expansion of the fourth container terminal. “MCZMA clearly mandates that mangroves should not be harmed. The allegations must be probed and if proved correct the environmental clearances must be revoked by the authority,” said Kumar.
Pawar also said that replied received to their RTI queries have proved that NMSEZ or its contractors have not taken any permission or paid royalty for digging hills for transporting hundreds of truckload of soil. “At Panje, NMSEZ has illegally constructed massive wall around more than 500 acres and even prevented entry of bird watchers and fishermen,” he said.
Sunil Agarwal of Save Navi Mumbai Environment said that the state’s environment minister Aditya Thackeray recently asking CIDCO to protect Talawe pond as a bird sanctuary is a major step towards protecting biodiversity in Navi Mumbai.
Alarmed at the recent findings of Wetlands International South Asia that Mumbai has lost a maximum 71 percent of wetlands between 1970 and 2014, environmentalists said that MMRDA’s plan to build housing complexes in the salt pan area are disastrous and an invitation to crisis. They have asked the environment minister to revive the River Regulatory Zone to save rivers and prevent recurring floods.
India’s climate actions cut across various sectors and are being implemented through various programs and schemes of different union ministries, departments and state/ union territory governments. The government of India through concerned ministries and departments organises workshops, exhibiti
In a judgment with far-reaching implications, the Supreme Court has held that the civil consequences of an account being declared as fraud under the Reserve Bank of India (Frauds Classification and Reporting by Commercial Banks and Select FIs) Directions, 2016 or its Master Directions on Fraud amount to ci
The Dehradun-based Forest Survey of India (FSI), an organization under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, carries out the assessment of forest cover biennially since 1987 and the findings are published in the India State of Forest Report (ISFR). As per the latest ISFR 2021, there is a
While the average growth of energy requirement in the country for 2023-24 viz-a-viz 2022-23 has been estimated as 4.9%, the months of April and May have been projected as high demand period. During the current year, the peak demand is expected to be around 229 GW during the summer period. The government ha
As the UN has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the Indian Army has steered introduction of millets flour in the rations of soldiers. This landmark decision will ensure troops are supplied with native and traditional grains after over half a century, when these were discontinued in favour
When discussing digital currency, you might think of one or two well-known varieties. There is the digital representation of currency that you access with mobile and online banking services. This currency is the liability of a commercial bank. There is also cryptocurrency, a digital medium of exchange issu