Greens request Thackeray to save Navi Mumbai, MMR salt pans
Appreciating the State Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray, for putting his foot down in not allowing any development on salt pans of Mumbai, green groups have requested him to maintain the same firm stand with regard to salt pans in Navi Mumbai and other Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
Following Thackeray’s tweet about enough land available for construction in Mumbai, BN Kumar of NatConnect, in a mail, to the minister expressed that apart from salt pans, enough land is available in Navi Mumbai, too, for development.
CIDCO repeatedly has been taking the stand that the Panje and NRI-TSC wetlands are erstwhile salt pans and hence developable, which the environmentalists have deplored.
The NRI-TS Chanakya and Panje wetlands must be spared from the development plans by the government agencies, Kumar said.
NatConnect and Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan have opposed the MMRDA plans to develop salt pan areas for affordable housing, pointing out that these areas also serve as wetlands by absorbing tidal and flood water.
Burial of salt pans has already been causing floods in MMR and the urban planners must learn lessons from Nature striking back, Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan, said.
“While the burial of wetlands at Bhendkhal was not undone despite the High Court-appointed Mangrove Committee, there have been repeated attempts to sabotage Panje wetland. The Panje-type sabotage is being repeated at NRI-TSC wetlands by blocking the tidal water flow,” Kumar said.
BNHS, too, said repeatedly that the destruction of these wetlands would force migratory birds, which are used to landing here, fly helter-skelter and threaten the flights.
CIDCO was unavailable for comment.
Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu B Chavan appealed to people not to sacrifice cattle for the Bakrid festival while warning of stern action against the offenders. The Minister emphasised the Cow Slaughter Prohibition Act has already been in force in Karnataka. Generally, during the Bakrid festival, there is a tradition of sacrifice, for which livestock such as cow, ox, calf and camels are also used, said Chavan.
Chandigarh Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for a synthetic running track at Sukhna Lake. UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee had earlier given its go-ahead for the proposal. Next, the detailed plan and cost estimates will be prepared; and then, tenders will be floated for the project.” A UT official said the proposed track is part of the administration's efforts to give Sukhna Lake a major facelift.
The National Highway Authority of India has approved two over-bridges, which are likely to reduce travel time between Kalka and Zirakpur and alleviate traffic jams on the stretch by next year. NHAI has already floated tenders for the 60-m wide over-bridges, which will be constructed at a cost of ₹50 crore. It has invited bids for the “construction and site improvement of the four-lane national highway (NH-22) on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo junction.”
Fifteen students had a narrow escape after their school bus skidded into a waterlogged open drain in Daulat Singhwala village in Phabat area of Zirakpur. The bus, which was ferrying students of Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, Panchkula, was making way for another school bus when it skidded into the overflowing drain. The bus tilted in the drain, but passersby and parents were able to rescue the children through the driver's window.
Tricity residents woke up to heavy rainfall for the second time this month on Wednesday. Three people went missing after a taxi, shuttling two commuters, was swept away in a flashflood in the Patiala-Ki-Rao rivulet as the driver attempted to cross the causeway in Tanda Village near Nayagaon. The owner of the vehicle, Rakesh Kumar told the police that Gaurav had called him saying two people, travelling to Baddi, had booked his cab.