Metro 4 shows how to balance development and nature

Updated: Jan 09, 2020, 07:40 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

The move received massive support from wildlife activists who are hopeful about its success. And the team entrusted with the task is roping in experts to ensure just that

The 'bird friendly' approach that is being adopted for the Metro Line 4 project has been hailed by the nature and wildlife lovers for trying to balance development and conservation. A report in this paper mentioned how birds affected by the infrastructure projects in the city will be relocated within the MMR.

About 400 trees will be replanted for the Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavli Mumbai Metro Line 4, and the hatchlings found in nests will be relocated to the trees transplanted in MMR, after they are fostered into adult birds. The eggs found in nests on the trees will be incubated and the adult birds will be relocated similarly.

The move received massive support from wildlife activists who are hopeful about its success. And the team entrusted with the task is roping in experts to ensure just that. The project looks well thought out, and we hope it will be implemented with acumen and expertise and this mission will spark a new dawn for the bitter but genuine debate on environment versus development.

Striking a balance between development and nature conservation is of great importance, particularly for Mumbai that is slowly turning into a concrete jungle. The city is seeing rapid increase in infrastructure projects, which renders the protracted battles against ecological imbalances useless. We instead need to hammer out solutions, like the relocation of bird habitat, so as to lessen the effect of loss of green space in the city and try as much as we can to preserve the greenery we are left with.

It is also important to focus on the need to engage and involve experts in future projects involving nature conservation. The nature conservation project starts with good intent, but fails very often due to lack of experts. For instance, the tree transplantation; so many tree rehabilitation initiatives have failed simply because there was not enough research or there were no experts on board. Even when experts are taken on board, their opinions are overruled at times. But, the bird rehabilitation project should pave the way for a more amicable, equitable and responsible way of development.

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