Mumbai civic body postpones crocodile park plan at Powai lake until Metro work in 2022
Congress’ former corporator Pravin Chheda had proposed to convert part of the lake into a ‘crocodile park in 2016mumbai Updated: Apr 12, 2018 01:14 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has put its plan on hold to build Mumbai’s first crocodile park at artificial Powai lake until the Metro-6 corridor is built by 2022.
In 2016, Congress’ former corporator Pravin Chheda had proposed to ban fishing and discharge of sewage in the lake. In a notice of motion, Chheda had also proposed to convert part of the lake into a ‘crocodile park’.
Two years later, in its standing committee meeting on Wednesday, the BMC announced that although it had invited tenders to beautify the lake promenade and build separate basking areas for crocodiles, it decided to suspend any new project at the lake owing to Metro-6 (Lokhandwala complex-Kanjurmarg-Vikhroli) work which will start this year. An official said the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) may beautify the promenade after Metro work. Chheda said, “My plan included a resting area for crocodiles at one corner of the lake with a viewing point for citizens. Caretakers would have been appointed for crocodiles. I do not understand why the BMC could not work on this proposal in the last two years. It could have been finished before the Metro-6 work.”
Although Powai residents had welcomed the move, Elsie Gabriel, founder of Young Environmentalists Programme Trust (YEPT), said crocodiles already have a natural habitat. “We cannot keep a tab on all crocodiles and segregate their living space for show. However, now, the new Metro line along the promenade will upset the natural habitat of the lake’s fauna.”
Gabriel added, “The lake has naturally formed islands where the crocodiles come up to rest.”
Meanwhile, to save the aquatic life of the lake, the civic body’s hydraulic engineering department had planned two projects.
“In a week, we will install aeration and dissolved-oxygen monitoring systems at suitable locations to help restore aquatic life.Work to divert sewage discharge will start in two weeks,” said the official.
Corporators on Wednesday demanded that apart from the waste flowing into the lake, net fishing be stopped.