Investigate issue at DPS lake in Navi Mumbai, CM Eknath Shinde asks UD dept

22 June,2024 05:49 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  A Correspondent

NatConnect director BN Kumar, therefore, urged CM Shinde to have the proposal cleared quickly

Eknath Shinde

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Responding to pleas by green groups to save the 30-acre DPS Flamingo Lake at Nerul in Navi Mumbai from being allegedly buried by CIDCO for commercial gains, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has asked the Urban Development Department to investigate the issue.

Non-profit NatConnect Foundation had requested the CM's intervention to transfer the lake to Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) for conservation. A proposal from NMMC for conserving the lake in association with BNHS is already pending with CIDCO. NatConnect director BN Kumar, therefore, urged CM Shinde to have the proposal cleared quickly.

The CM directed Aseem Gupta, principal secretary, UD-1, to take appropriate action on the issues raised by NatConnect Foundation, including the choking of tidal water inlets to the lake thus rendering it dry.

The lake supports biodiversity and is a home to thousands of flamingos, Kumar informed the CM. Moreover, CIDCO has allegedly violated the stipulation imposed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the State Forest Department not to interfere with the free flow of tidal water while destroying 0.46 hectares of mangroves for the passenger water transport terminal at Nerul, Kumar said.

Though CIDCO itself had given an undertaking under the Forest Conservation Act that the water flow would not be affected, the main channel on the southern end of the lake was blocked, which has been confirmed by the Forest Department inspection. Under pressure, NMMC opened a couple of blocks and water started flowing into the lake, but CIDCO took umbrage and filed a complaint with the NRI Coastal Police against the civic body. This has been confirmed by CIDCO's complaint to the police. Meanwhile, CIDCO put up a notice at the DPS Flamingo Lake proclaiming that trespassers will be prosecuted.

"We are happy that the CMO has responded quickly, and we shall follow-up with the UD through the RTI route," Kumar said. mid-day reached out to CIDCO, but there was no response until the time of going to press.

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