With no tidal water, Navi Mumbai loses 4.5 acres of wetland
Complaints on massive mangrove destruction over the years did not yield any result and 4,600 mangrove trees have been completely destroyed in Uran.
The patch of mangrove at CSF Punjab Warehouse dried as tidal water flow was stopped.
Activists alleged that the road expansion work of NH-348 destroyed the 4.5 acres of mangrove patch.
The land where the highway work is going on belongs to City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco). It has leased it to the highway authority.
Pramod Patil, nodal officer environment, Cidco, said, “On Tuesday, we asked the highway officials to allow tidal water to flow into the mangroves. They claimed to have done it. We will wait for 10 to 15 days and then decide on the course of action.”
Environmentalist Nand Kumar Pawar said that Cidco’s claims are hollow. “The dried-up mangrove trees are gone forever. Even if they allow tidal water in, we will not get back the green cover. The roots have dried completely and there is no hope for revival.”
Based on complaints by environmentalists, wetland committee had issued instructions to the highway authority to allow tidal water to flow into the mangroves.
Jagdish Patil, Konkan commissioner and head of wetland committee, said, “I will ask the officials to submit a report. Depending on it, measures would be taken.”
When contacted, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) refused to comment on the issue.
Environmentalists said that wetland committee has always issued instructions and order but have not gone to the field to check whether it has been implemented.
“The destruction didn’t happen overnight. The appointed committee ignored it although we had been highlighting the violations,” said Nand Kumar Pawar, who heads Shree Ekvira Aai Pratisthan.
“The locals have been regularly updating about the development. A report by the forest and revenue officials stated that the survival of 4,600 mangrove tress are at stake. But, the committee ignored the warning and now we have lost the green cover,” he said.
Dried mangrove trees have turned the area into an eyesore. The picture was different four months ago when greenery could be seen in patches.
“Till the issue of wetland reclamation is not addressed, the wetland committee should not take up any other issues,” said D Stalin, member of state mangrove monitoring committee.
“Reclamation work and related projects, which has been going on rampantly in the node for the past few years have destroyed nature,” said Vijesh Patil, 40, a resident of Uran.
“The highway would bring in better connectivity but how can we ever compensate the loss of 4,500 mangrove trees?” he added.
Dilip Koli, member of Paramparik Machhimaar Kruti samiti (traditional fishermen’s action committee), said that the fisherfolks have lost their livelihood.
“We were made to believe that any grievance on wetland and its destruction would be taken care of by the wetland committee. The committee, however, has favored the corporate and government agencies,” said Koli.
“There were days when we earned Rs10,000 for a good catch of fish. Today, we are forced to work as labourers,” said Patil.
The accused, Ashu, a resident of Panipat’s Nara village, killed the victims, reportedly his friends, between 8pm and 4am and travelled around 60km from the first crime scene in Matlauda of Panipat to Titawi in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli. The victims are Sonu, 26, who was working with a private contractor in a cement factory, and his two friends -- Monu, 25, of Nara village and Rakesh, 27, of Bhalsi village.
The Delhi government introduced the Happiness curriculum in 2018, Entrepreneurship mindset curriculum in 2019 and the Deshbhakti curriculum last year with the aim of inculcating problem-solving approaches among students and making them more self-aware, self-confident and socially responsible.
While the LG appreciated the work done at Indraprastha and Pul Prahladpur, he was displeased at the drainage system at Minto Bridge, flagging “technical flaws” in the drainage system and warned that engineers concerned “will be held responsible and strict action will be taken in the event of waterlogging at the site.”
BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said the MLAs were informed about the election process for upcoming election for Speaker’s post. “They were told that the election will be held through a voice vote or they may have to stand up to vote for their candidate if asked,” said Mungantiwar.
The weather department classifies rainfall between ‘trace’ and 2.4 mm as ‘very light rainfall’, as ‘light rainfall’ when it is between 2.5 mm and 15.5 mm, as ‘moderate’ rainfall when it is between 15.6 mm and 64.4 mm and as ‘heavy’ when it is over 64.5 mm in a single day.