The Thane district administration’s varied our bodies have undertaken a contemporary verification drive from Monday to find out whether or not two websites in Navi Mumbai may be declared wetlands following an software by an environmentalist, who can also be a neighborhood resident.
The workforce will make its submissions earlier than the Bombay excessive courtroom (HC)-appointed state wetland committee, which is headed by the Konkan commissioner, on October 27.
The workforce additionally recognized particles dumping on the website and directed the City Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (Cidco), which is Navi Mumbai’s planning physique, to clear it inside every week.
The websites included the 21.9 hectare (ha) NRI Complex and 14.3-ha Training Ship Chanakya (TSC), the place a report 9,000 flamingos had flocked in April and May.
However, each these websites weren’t included by the district administration of their ultimate listing of newly recognized and verified wetlands in step with 2017 wetland guidelines that was submitted to the Maharashtra authorities’s atmosphere division on January 3.
Cidco plans to develop a golf course and assemble 17 buildings, together with 1,564 flats and 20 workplace areas, within the space, which have been opposed by environmentalists and the native residents.
The matter is pending earlier than the Supreme Court.
Based on an software for rectification of their standing in February by Sunil Agarwal, a petitioner earlier than the Bombay HC on safety of those wetlands, the Konkan commissioner on September 27 had directed the Thane district collector to confirm the submissions.
District officers mentioned the areas may very well be declared as wetlands.
“We found that both these areas have all the features of wetlands and are also rich in biodiversity,” mentioned Yuvraj Bangar, tehsildar (income officer), Thane.
“We are not aware of the Cidco’s stand. But a final report has been prepared by the sub-divisional officer (SDO) and will be presented before the Konkan commissioner on October 27. The matter will also be presented before the Thane district collector on Wednesday,” he added.
Avinash Shinde, SDO, Thane, mentioned one other grievance about building supplies dumped in TSC was recognized by the joint inspection workforce on Monday. “We have been promised by Cidco that the debris from the area will be removed within seven days, and they will submit a compliance report before the HC-appointed committee,” he mentioned.
Pramod Patil, nodal officer (atmosphere), Cidco, mentioned, “We are not aware, who dumped the debris, but we will ensure that it is removed. However, these two sites are not wetlands. They are land parcels and revenue records show them as saltpans and agricultural lands. As per 2017 wetland rules, these lands do not qualify to be declared as wetlands.”
On January 3, the Thane district administration had submitted its ultimate report back to the state authorities, which confirmed solely three wetlands, excluding those in Navi Mumbai.
“We were surprised that the final report had left out these two key wetlands. Our application cited the reasons for their inclusion. We are hopeful that these two wetlands will be added to the verified list and a natural habitat for flamingos will be protected from concrete urban jungle and the proposed golf course,” mentioned Agarwal.
‘Both sites extraordinary wetlands, land cannot be diverted for other use’
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) authorities mentioned that each the websites at Navi Mumbai have displayed important wetland traits. “These are extraordinary wetlands that are used by a large number of migratory and resident water birds. On an average, around 50,000 birds, including around 15,000 near threatened lesser flamingos, can be observed roosting at this site at high tides during winter . We have recommended this site to be declared as protected areas in the studies carried out for the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) and Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL). Conversion of this land for a different purpose such as a golf course will jeopardise the air safety of the proposed airport, as birds may start using the NMIA and its influence zone for roosting purposes. This land should not be diverted to any other use,” BNHS had mentioned in two separate stories to the state authorities.
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