Environmentalists and activists have welcomed the move by BMC

In a move that is being cheered by environmental activists, the BMC has decided to form Mumbai's first Biodiversity Management Committee. According to sources, a 23-member team will be formed under the Superintendent of Garden Department to preserve the city's biodiversity.

The team is expected to comprise public representatives, nature experts as well as environmentalists, apart from BMC corporators. Sources said the names of seven corporators, who will be a part of this committee, are being finalised at the moment.

The move follows an order from the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court to the state government to take adequate steps to protect the rich biodiversity of the city. The bench urged the state to form a committee that would function across all localities after a PIL was filed on the issue.

The team
BMC sources said the committee would conduct an extensive study before compiling a biodiversity register, which will offer a detailed picture of the various kinds of flora and fauna in the city. "After the study is completed, the committee will deliberate over methods to preserve these trees, birds and animals. This committee will meet once every month to analyse progress," a BMC official said.

The official added, "In March, the urban development department had written to BMC chief Ajoy Mehta urging him to constitute a biodiversity management committee. Thereafter, the BMC took legal opinion and finalised members of the committee to initiate the process of team formation."

Speaking to mid-day, Jeetendra Pardesi, superintendent of Garden Department, said, "The move is likely to help preserve plenty of trees and animals, which may be heading towards extinction."

Activist speak
Lauding the BMC's efforts, environmentalist Rishi Aggarwal said, "This is the first time that the BMC has made an active step towards finding out and charting the various kinds of flora and fauna in the city. The committee members should update all the information gathered during research on the BMC portal so that the masses can be more aware of the rich biodiversity across Mumbai."