High Court panel directs CIDCO to restore tidal water flow at Panje wetland
In a major boost for the environmentalists’ fight to save Panje wetland, the High Court-appointed Mangrove Protection and Conservation Committee has directed CIDCO to have five choke points at the wetland to allow free flow of tidal water.
Taking up the issue raised by committee member Stalin D, the committee chairman and Konkan Divisional Commissioner, Vilas Patil, stressed that the water flow must be maintained at the wetland.
The Western Region Bench of NGT, meanwhile, is scheduled to hold the next hearing in the case on November 9 before which CIDCO is supposed to file its action taken report.
Stalin also strongly advocated revocation of the lease of the Panje wetland to Navi Mumbai SEZ (NMSEZ) since the lease conditions of not harming the environment have been violated. Moreover, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has itself categorised the area as CRZ-1.
The committee chairman felt that the revocation could be considered if there were any violations.
Meanwhile, Panje wetland has gone dry again after the monsoon wet spell, threatening the biodiversity, NatConnect Foundation Director, BN Kumar, has complained to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Kumar has regretted that despite the CM’s instructions to the environment, UD and forest departments, the violations at Panje have been continuing. Thousands of migratory birds which are habituated to land at Panje would cause flutter at the airport grounds if they miss their traditional landing places, Kumar said quoting BNHS studies.