Several bird watchers turned up for the city’s annual Flamingo Festival on Saturday, and a majority of them had one common concern: The harmful effects of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) construction work on migratory birds in the city. The event was organised by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) at the Sewri Jetty, which overlooks the mudflats where the birds feed.
Jatin Lodaya, 46, a resident of Chembur, said, “I have been coming to this festival for the past seven years. I take as many pictures as I can because I may not see these birds next year.”
According to the BNHS, the noise pollution caused by construction of the MTHL, which will connect Sewri with Uran in Navi Mumbai, could disturb the flamingos and other migratory birds that come to the Sewri wetlands and other areas further up the Thane Creek during this time of the year. “These birds have migrated to Mumbai from the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat owing to the extreme cold winter there,” said Arun Varghese, a volunteer from BNHS.
At the festival, bird lovers got a chance to see more than 15,000 flamingos. “The most special thing about these flamingoes is that they are found only in two places in the world — sub-Saharan Africa and India,” said Vandan Jhaveri, associate officer at the BNHS, to a group of children.