Mangroves along Thane creek to be developed as eco-tourism spots | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mangroves along Thane creek to be developed as eco-tourism spots

The district plans to rope in NGOs to make a proposal for such spots.

mumbai Updated: Feb 04, 2018 00:46 IST
Megha Pol
(Praful Gangurde)

Taking serious note of the depleting mangroves, the district authority has planned to develop eco-tourism spots at several places in Thane.

In the first phase, the mangroves near the Saket nature park will be developed into an information centre, while the patch along the Bhiwandi and Ghodbunder stretch will be developed as an eco-tourism sight.

The district plans to rope in NGOs to make a proposal for such spots.

The aim of developing these spots is to protect mangroves and wetlands from land sharks and pollution.

Sudam Pardesi, sub-divisional officer of Thane district, said, “Of the 100 villages in Thane district, 39 are along the creek. The responsibility of conserving and protecting the bio-diversity along this creek is not only of locals but every resident. Thus we came up with this proposal of developing the mangroves into eco-tourism centres.”

He added that the work on finalising the sites is still ongoing; however, the nature park at Saket will be opened first to the public as a mangrove information centre.

Pardeshi said, “In the second phase, we will take up several more locations. We will develop mangrove information centre at these places, wherein people can go and get information on different species of mangroves. We also have photographs of many rare birds seen along Thane creek. A photo display centre for these birds will also be built at these spots.”

He added that the aim was to encourage more school and college students to visit the centres which can play the role of giving information and creating awareness.

The district at present has decided to tie up with the NGO Enviro-vigil.

Vidhyadhar Walavalkar, general secretary of Enviro-vigil said, “The collector has asked us to prepare a proposal in the next 10 days over sites that can be developed into eco-tourism spots. We are planning to start such mangrove information centre near Bhiwandi and Ghodbunder. We will submit reports on both these sites to the collector and start working after the approval.”

The NGO said land along Thane creek is no more a wetland. Surbhi Walavalkar, one of the programme coordinator of the NGO, said, “In 2009, there were 69 fish species in the Thane creek. According to a survey in 2016, only 11 species have survived.”