The proposed international airport at Navi Mumbai, one of the biggest infrastructure projects affecting mangroves, has inched closer to reality. The forest department has given its nod to City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the planning authority for Navi Mumbai, to cut mangroves for the airport.
“We have the necessary permission from the deputy conservator of forests, Alibaug region. We are only awaiting the papers for official confirmation. They should come soon,” said Mohan Ninawe, public relations officer, CIDCO.
Around 98 hectares of mangroves will have to be chopped to make way for the two runways. To compensate for the loss, CIDCO will develop a new 60-hectare mangrove park and another 310-hectare mangrove area north-east of the airport site.
The Bombay Natural History Society has been given the task of mangrove plantation. The mangrove park is likely to have a bio-diversity park and lagoon too.
After the forest department nod, CIDCO will have to approach the Bombay High Court for permission to cut the mangroves. In 2005, the court had prohibited destruction of mangroves.