Construction works in Thane Creek ESZ to require wildlife board NOC
All infrastructure development set to come up within the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS) will soon be required to obtain a no-objection certification (NOC) from the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL). A clause to this effect is also proposed to be added to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai’s (MCGM) development plan 2034 (DP2034), revealed the civic body circular dated July 9, which was accessed by HT on Friday.
A letter by the deputy conservator of forests (Thane), dated April 9, to the Mumbai municipal commissioner had stated that NBWL’s clearance is mandatory for all construction work proposed within a deemed eco-sensitive area of 10km around the TCFS boundary. This would entail projects all the way in Mumbai’s eastern and western suburbs requiring a wildlife board nod.
“This is merely a formality as per the law, and it remains to be seen whether such a restriction will actually stave off development pressures on the Thane Creek. It’s not conceivable that a building which has to come up in, say, Saki Naka, be denied wildlife clearance on account of the flamingo sanctuary. What is needed is for projects in the immediate vicinity of the creek to be restricted. This has not been Mumbai’s experience with developments around Sanjay Gandhi National Park, for example, where there are buildings coming abutting the national park despite a monitoring committee being in place,” said Stalin D, director of environment group Vanashakti.
An official with the forest department, meanwhile, said that the 10-km zone is only a temporary measurement.
“The final notification of the proposal, after it was initially gazetted on April 30, is expected to be issued by the Union environment ministry in August. The maximum width of the ESZ is only 3.89km and the minimum width is 0km. Once that notification comes into place, there will be no need for projects situated 10km away to procure NOC from the wildlife board,” said the official.