Battle to save Navi Mumbai wetlands moves online

May 31, 2018, 15:03 IST | Anamika Gharat

An area as big as 80 hectares in Navi Mumbai has been handed over to a private builder for residential and commercial development in the name of a golf course

Representation pic
Representation pic

More than 7,500 people have signed an online petition that was started about a week back, to save the Navi Mumbai wetlands. It was started by Sunil Agarwal, who had filed a public interest litigation against CIDCO and the state government in the Bombay High Court, for the protection of the wetlands. He will hand over the petition to the authorities after it garners a substantial number of signatures.

An area as big as 80 hectares in Navi Mumbai has been handed over to a private builder for residential and commercial development in the name of a golf course after the land use was changed from No Development Zone to Regional Park Zone and Residential Zone. The area is rich in biodiversity, has reserved mangrove forests, wetlands and is the habitat for many bird species including migratory birds like flamingos.

Agarwal said, "We have started creating awareness about the issue. This initiative should make the authorities reconsider their decision of tinkering with No Development Zones. The response that we have received shows that people want preservation of wetlands and mangroves. It has created a lot of awareness in Navi Mumbai and inspired a lot of people in other areas, especially Kharghar, to fight for the preservation of wetlands and mangroves in their areas."

In Kharghar, CIDCO has started dumping debris on wetlands. Naresh Singh, a Kharghar resident, said, "We are fed up with the authorities. We have sent them several letters but nothing has stopped them from dumping debris on almost half of a pond." The CIDCO PRO did not answer phone calls or reply to messages sent by this reporter.

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