The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) will replant mangroves on 370 hectares of land surrounding the site of the Navi Mumbai International Airport.
Florida-based consultants Lewis Environmental Services will begin work next week on land delineated for a mangrove park, following the directives of the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF). Between May 27 and June 2, the consultants inspected the site and prepared a road map.
The operational work will involve the removal of bunds from around 14 places where the bunds have blocked tidal creek inlets, setting up of nurseries and mangrove plantation. The consultants will carry out the work together with Mumbai University’s department of life sciences.
On the whole, Cidco will replant and conserve mangroves on 615 hectares of land as compensation for destroying mangroves on 161 hectares of land used for building the airport.
“It will take six years for the mangroves to reach a height of four feet. Once they have been replanted, the mangroves will be handed over to the forest department for upkeep,’’ said a senior urban development department (UDD) official and member of the monitoring committee set up by the MoEF.
The committee also discussed the Bombay Natural History Society’s (BNHS) study on the flora and fauna of the area. This study will require three years for completion.
Cidco is currently preparing a master plan to develop an aretropolis (airport city) or high-end townships on 50 sq km of land around the airport. In order to discourage birds, these townships will not have any slaughter houses, open garbage disposal areas or butterfly parks.
The UDD and CIDCO have asked the BNHS to recommend how to reduce the bird population within a 50 sq km radius of the airport. “The airport and surrounding area should ideally not encourage any bird population as this can compromise the safety of passengers. We are going to avoid certain activities and have asked the BNHS to submit a list of these,’’ said the official.