A railways’ experiment of setting up a ‘mangrove village’ near Thane by planting thousands of saplings has helped cut down a significant amount of pollution at a small junction on the Western Express Highway and Ghodbunder Road near Thane.
The project will also earn the railways global accolades in the form of carbon credits.
The Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) and the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has been quietly
doing the job for the past few years as a part of the World Bank Project. The idea is to compensate hacking of mangroves and trees while laying new lines under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project.
“Though mangroves do not actually generate oxygen, they help in the process and clean up the environment around. Due to its high productivity, the mangrove ecosystem supports a large diversity of flora and fauna,” P.K. Kulkarni, assistant manager with FDCM, said.
“The railways had cut down about 2,870 mangroves while laying additional lines between Dahisar and Naigaon. We have planed 13,500 to compensate the loss. Then about 250-300 mangroves are likely to be damaged due to the new Thane-Diva corridor so we decided to plant another 10,000,” Prakash Rao Vazalwar, chief operations manager MRVC, said.
The saplings, which measure around a foot in height, are spaced out in six patches in a total area of one hectare.
“On completion of the 18-month maintenance period from the plantation date, it has been observed that all the plants have a 100 percent survival rate,” Sudhir Valvi, divisional manager, Forest Project Division, FDCM, said.