Member of HC-appointed panel seeks to halt reclamation work near Mumbai’s Powai lake

Construction work in the region will impact the availability of water to the dense natural forests which line the periphery of the lake, wetlands committee member Stalin D stated
The work is being together carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
The work is being together carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
Updated on Aug 20, 2021 12:28 AM IST
Copy Link
ByPrayag Arora-Desai

A member of the high court-appointed wetlands grievance redressal committee has written to the authorities in Maharashtra and the Centre, seeking an immediate stoppage of construction works around the boundary of Mumbai’s Powai Lake – near Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) – for the purpose of building a cycling track. The work is being together carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).

The work has now invited objections from environmentalists, who said that forest and wildlife clearances for the project have not been granted despite being mandatory. In their letter on Thursday, addressed to officials from the Union environment ministry, the central and state pollution control bodies and the state forest and wildlife departments, Stalin D, wetlands committee member and director of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Vanashakti, wrote, “The lake is home to the Indian marsh crocodile, a Schedule 1 protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972... the National Board for wildlife and forest departments have not given any clearance... for this activity.”

Stalin also pointed out that site of the ongoing work is “very much inside the lake waters”, specifically in the spillover zone adjoining the IIT-B jetty. He drew the officials’ attention to the past orders by the Supreme Court and the Bombay high court which explicitly prevent any construction work or reclamation within the boundaries of wetlands identified in the National Wetlands Atlas, of which Powai Lake is one. Construction work in the region, the letter points out, will impact the availability of water to the dense natural forests which line the periphery of the lake.

“Instead of keeping the boundaries of the lake inviolate... the lake is being capitalised by using the area for construction,” the letter stated, warning that legal action will be initiated against the ongoing work if construction is not stopped, and the area not restored.

Earlier this month, Omkar Mahadeo Supekar, a researcher with IIT-B, had written to the Union environment ministry, filing a complaint against the ongoing work, stating that it had resulted in the felling of trees and poses a threat to biodiversity of the lake. The Union environment ministry subsequently directed the complaint to the state forest department asking that the complaint be resolved. The latter is yet to submit a report on the same, as directed by the Union environment ministry.

BMC officials were unavailable for comment. Officials from forest and wildlife departments said they will look into the matter and take necessary action accordingly.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Bihar hooch tragedy: Toll rises to 13

    Bihar hooch tragedy: Toll rises to 13

    The toll from the suspected hooch tragedy went up to 13 as four more people died in Bihar's Aurangabad late on Tuesday. Aurangabad district magistrate Saurabh Jorwal said the hooch is suspected to have been brought from Jharkhand and supplied to sellers in bordering villages of Gaya and Aurangabad. Gaya's senior police superintendent Harpreet Kaur said Santosh Chaudhary, the alleged main supplier, and his four associates have been arrested.

  • Karnataka Congress general secretary Kavitha Reddy.

    'Why not women?' Karnataka Congress leader slams party over ticket distribution

    Karnataka Congress general secretary Kavitha Reddy lashed out at her party for not giving 'fair representation to women' while picking candidates for the June 3 Legislative Council elections, news agency ANI reported Wednesday. In a self-made video, Reddy said that it is 'disturbing' to see that women have not been given representation in the state legislative council. The Congress has announced M Nagaraju Yadav and K Abdul Jabbar as its candidates.

  • Indian PM Modi announced on Twitter that a compensation of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2 lakh each will be given to the next of kin of those deceased in the accident on the Hubballi-Dharwad bypass road on Tuesday.

    PM Modi and Karnataka CM announce ex-gratia for Hubli road accident victims

    Eight people were killed and about 26 others were injured in an accident involving a private bus and a truck on the Hubballi-Dharwad bypass road during the early hours of Tuesday, police said. The bus was heading from Kolhapur in Maharashtra to Bengaluru, while the truck was coming in the opposite direction. The incident occurred when the bus driver allegedly lost control while trying to overtake a tractor and hit the truck head-on, police said.

  • Pet parents such as Vidhi Vishnoi, a Gurugram-based tax manager, chooses to leave her almost two-year-old German Shepherd with friends and family, or takes him along on her travels, after sour experiences with boarding facilities in the past. (Photo: Shutterstock)

    Furry tales: Pet parents vs boarding centres

    These centres make it easier for pet parents to tend to their travel needs while being assured that their bundle of joy is taken care of. “I have had bad experiences twice at different boarding centres,” shares a Gurugram-based educator, Parul Gupta, who feels that a big challenge that pet parents face while leaving their furry baby, is the temperament issue of other pets residing there.

  • A temple-like structure was found underneath the Juma Masjid in Mangaluru during renovation in late April.

    Section 144 imposed around disputed mosque in Mangaluru

    Large gatherings have been banned within 500 metres of a mosque in Karnataka's Mangaluru after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader warned of a 'Ram Mandir-like campaign' in the fight for control of premises on which a Hindu temple-like architectural design was reportedly found. Mangaluru authorities imposed Section 144 at 8 pm Tuesday and this will be in place till 8 am Thurrsday.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 25, 2022