To save MMR wetlands, mangroves and hills
Virendra Tiwari, Executive Director, Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation of Maharashtra, said the process of taking over mangroves from various agencies has slowed down as CIDCO, JNPT are yet to act. “We are still pursuing with these bodies,” he said.
Tiwari said the State’s request for empowering the forest department to take legal action against violators has been pending with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. These powers, once granted, will strengthen the forest department’s hands. The police have limited resources to deal with environmental crimes, he said.
Biodiversity in MMR is under threat like never before as the officials are turning a blind eye to the violations, said B N Kumar, director of NatConnect Foundation. “The people must be alert to save the city from degradation to force the government to act today, as tomorrow will be too late,” he said.
Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan, squarely blamed planning bodies like CIDCO for destruction of wetland and mangroves in Uran under the guise of development. A government body cannot be so money-minded at the cost of the environment and biodiversity, he argued.
Sunil Agrawal of Save Navi Mumbai Environment lamented that CIDCO has been misleading all about the existence of wetlands in Navi Mumbai. It is shocking that even the wetland atlas listed properties are being recklessly destroyed.
Kharghar-based activist Jyoti Nadkarni has taken strong objection to the indiscriminate quarrying in the node which she said could even threaten the Pandavkada hill.