Environment ministry allows MMRC to cut 1,000 mangrove trees at BKC, Dharavi for Metro 3
MUMBAI CITY NEWS: “The clearances were issued only after MMRC agreed to plant at least 5,000 mangrove trees to compensate for the loss in green cover,” said a senior official from the Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit.mumbai Updated: Jun 27, 2017 10:09 IST
The Union environment ministry on Monday allowed the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to construct at two land parcels admeasuring 0.91 hectares and 0.34 hectares inside mangrove wetlands at Bandra Kurla Complex and Dharavi for the Metro III project (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ).
Officials from the state mangrove cell said that approximately 1,000 mangrove trees would be felled for the project. “The clearances were issued only after MMRC agreed to plant at least 5,000 mangrove trees to compensate for the loss in green cover,” said a senior official from the Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit. “We will soon work out the details of how the trees will be restored,” he added.
The official added that they had visited the mangrove patch twice to check if felling trees could be avoided but realised that according to the city’s entire metro plan, the mangrove trees would have to be felled. “First, we carried out a survey to check whether there were any violations at the site. Then with officials from the suburban collectors’ office, we checked whether any mangrove trees could be saved. After considering the metro plan, we decided that not more than 1,000 mangroves trees should be destroyed for the project,” said the official.
Meanwhile, MMRC officials said that the green nod would help speed up construction work for the project. “With this clearance, we will be able to fast track our construction activities for metro stations at BKC and Dharavi. The MMRCL is also working towards in-situ mangrove restoration plan, which will soon be submitted to Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit (MMCU) for approvals”, said Ashwini Bhide, managing director of MMRCL.
The environment Ministry gave clearances in the wake of the recommendations by additional principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF), forest department, nodal officers (FCA) from the central and state governments.