Greens request Thackeray to save Navi Mumbai, MMR salt pans

Environmental activists have requested Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray, to also save Navi Mumbai, MMR salt pans and not allow any development on them
Panje wetlands. Environmental activists have requested Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray, to save Navi, MMR salt pans and not allow any development. (HT FILE)
Panje wetlands. Environmental activists have requested Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray, to save Navi, MMR salt pans and not allow any development. (HT FILE)
Published on Jan 21, 2022 09:06 PM IST
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ByG. Mohiuddin Jeddy, Navi Mumbai

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.

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