Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said areas adjoining creeks in the state will be earmarked as protected zones and developed as tourist destinations. He also said the state will look into the deficiencies in coastal security.
Fadnavis was speaking to the media after planting mangroves along the Diva creek in Airoli on the occasion of World Wetlands Day. He also released a crab in the creek to establish a crab centre along the water body. He also visited the jetty at the creek.
The chief minister said the coastal guard, coastal police and the forest department will participate in a joint meeting to take a final call on security and the protection of bio-diversity along the creek. The development of the water body as a tourist destination and the generation of jobs for locals will also be discussed, Fadnavis said.
He also said a marine conservation centre, spread over an area of 11 hectares, will be created along the Airoli creek.
“The creek area will be developed as a tourist destination where several birds such as flamingos are often seen. We want to have a set-up where boats will carry up to 15 visitors to the birding area of the creek. This will provide locals with jobs,” said chief officer (mangrove preservation) N Vasudevan.
The centre, which will be set up by December this year, will have facilities for fish farming, crab farming, a bird monitoring centre and a centre for creek study. The project is estimated to cost Rs 1.5crore.
Fadnavis also said the sea world project in Sindhudurg, which has been pending for several years, will be developed soon. “As many as 1,300 acres of land has been acquired for the project, but has been stalled because of protests by locals. Such projects have been developed on 300-acre areas in other countries. We are planning to develop the sea world on par with those abroad,” the chief minister said.
“We will kick off the project as soon as locals give their approval,” he said.