Not just Panje, there are no wetlands in entire Uran Taluka: Uran tehsildar

Even as environmentalists have been raising issues of mangroves destruction and debris dumping at Panje in Uran, which they call a wetland, Uran tehsildar Bhausaheb Andhare has vehemently denied the allegations and stated that not just Panje but the entire Uran Taluka has no wetlands
Migratory birds in Panje. Uran tehsildar Andhare has said that not just Panje, there are no wetlands in the entire Uran Taluka. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Migratory birds in Panje. Uran tehsildar Andhare has said that not just Panje, there are no wetlands in the entire Uran Taluka. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 13, 2022 05:50 PM IST
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ByG. Mohiuddin Jeddy, Uran

Even as environmentalists have been raising issues of mangroves destruction and debris dumping at Panje in Uran, which they call a wetland, Uran tehsildar Bhausaheb Andhare has vehemently denied the allegations and stated that not just Panje but the entire Uran Taluka has no wetlands.

CIDCO has leased around 3,000 acres of land in Dronagiri node to Navi Mumbai SEZ in 2006-07 that includes 523 acres of land near village Panje, Funde and Dongri and 377 acres of land in Bokadvira commonly termed as “Panje Wetland” by NGOs.

Panje land is the largest parcel of land leased to NMSEZ. This is one of the premium lands available with NMSEZ having a waterfront as well as the view of Mumbai skyline. Panje would be accessible from Gateway of India in about 30 minutes by speed boat once the facilities are created.

There have been several complaints lately by the greens claiming violation of norms at Panje and attempts to destroy what they call the wetland.

Refuting the claims, Andhare said, “Not a single area in the entire Uran Taluka has been notified as a wetland till date. No area of NMSEZ figures in the wetland list as well.

“There were salt pans and paddy fields here in Uran previously. Raigad Collector has given an affidavit in the High Court giving a list of wetlands in Raigad District. There is no mention of any such wetland in Uran taluka. CIDCO, too, has repeatedly stated that Panje land is not a wetland.”

Andhare claimed that flap gates have been installed in the area to ensure free flow of tidal water from the creek. Water comes in during high tide and then recedes. It has nothing to do with the presence of any wetland.

According to Andhare, “The issue here is of the fishing community that wants water flow and also local villagers who want a cricket ground which often results in differences.”

Commenting on the complaints by the greens, Andhare said, “Allegations should be based on facts. How can they term the area as wetland when there is no notification to the effect? Every time there is a complaint or allegation, I personally check on them. Blaming the authorities and hyping things will not help. We should all act responsibly.”

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Monday, January 17, 2022