Flamingoes are fast disappearing from Navi Mumbai, claim environmental activists

Environmentalists have complained against the blocking of tidal water to the 35-hectare Talawe wetlands that they claim is leading to flamingoes disappearing from Navi Mumbai
Flamingoes are fast disappearing from Navi Mumbai due to blocking of tidal water to Talawe wetlands, claim environmental activists. (BACHCHAN KUMAR/HT PHOTO)
Flamingoes are fast disappearing from Navi Mumbai due to blocking of tidal water to Talawe wetlands, claim environmental activists. (BACHCHAN KUMAR/HT PHOTO)
Published on Jan 19, 2022 08:28 PM IST
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ByG. Mohiuddin Jeddy, Navi Mumbai

Navi Mumbai environmentalists have complained against the blocking of tidal water to the 35ha Talawe wetlands that they claim is leading to the disappearance of flamingoes from Navi Mumbai.

The inter-tidal water is being repeatedly blocked, making the stagnant water at Talawe wetlands unsuitable for these birds, they claimed.

The State CM Uddhav Thackeray, upon receiving an email, has asked the Urban Development and Environment departments to look into the greens’ complaints.

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has plans to get the ‘Flamingo City’ tag for the city, which the activists claimed would be difficult as these birds have begun to vanish from the strategic wetlands.

“The CM has marked the mail specifically to Environment Principal Secretary, Manisha Mhaiskar, and Urban Development Secretary, Mahesh Pathak,” NatConnect Foundation director, BN Kumar, said.

Meanwhile, the Union Environment Ministry has again asked the Maharashtra Wetland Authority as well as its State counterpart to look into the green activists’ complaints of destruction of the two wetlands, Talawe (or NRI) and TS Chanakya, and asked them to file an Action Taken Report.

The State Mangrove Cell, too, evinced interest to conserve the two wetlands along with Belpada, Bhendkhal and Panje wetlands of Uran, as per a BNHS plan, to maintain them under the Thane Creek Flamingo Satellite Sanctuary Project.

“It is highly disturbing that artificial bunds are blocking the tidal water flow into the NRI and TS Chanakya wetlands in a déjà vu of the sabotage of Uran’s Panje wetland,” Kumar said.

“We have not seen any semblance of flamingoes in recent times at these wetlands,” said Dharmesh Barai, who pointed out that mangroves are being chopped and thrown into the wetlands.

The greens alleged that instead of preserving these wetlands, CIDCO was planning developmental activities here.

Dismissing the allegations of blocking tidal water, CIDCO PRO, Priya Ratambe, said, “CIDCO is committed to preserving the environment. All steps taken by CIDCO are in accordance with the due process of the law.”

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