Navi Mumbai: In a quick response to the environmentalists’ concerns over the burial of a wetland at Kharghar by the State Government owned city planner CIDCO and allotting it for a rugby ground, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde asked the Urban Development department to look into it.
“We are thankful to CM Eknath Shinde for his prompt response and we hope a detailed investigation will be conducted into this habitual burial of wetlands by CIDCO under the guise of development,” said NatConnect Foundation director BN Kumar, who complained to the government.
NGO files complaint in HC appointed wetland committee
“We received an email from Mr Shinde marking it to Bhushan Gagrani, Principal Secretary – Urban Development-1, in charge of the State’s Municipal Corporations,” Mr Kumar added. NatConnect has also filed a complaint with the High Court-appointed wetland committee which is slated to meet soon.
NatConnect alleged that CIDCO, continuing the destruction of wetlands, has buried over10-acre intertidal water body at Sector-25, Kharghar in Navi Mumbai, and allotted over three acres of it to a rugby ground, environmentalists have said.
The intertidal area is designated as CRZ1B by the CRZ notification of 1991 issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC). “We have absolutely no issue in CIDCO promoting sports which is a must, but it should not play with the environment by burying a CRZ1B area,” NatConnect said in its complaint. Satellite maps and ground study clearly show that the area is an intertidal wetland with water around the reclaimed plot with the creek in a stone’s throw, NatConnect director B N Kumar said in his complaints.
Map points out the rugby plot is CRZ area
Kharghar Wetlands and Hills group convenor Nareshchandra Singh citing the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre map pointed out that the reclaimed area in Sector 25, Kharghar, is clearly a CRZ area. As per the Revenue Department map, the rugby plot is covered by survey numbers 261, 262, 267, 268 and 270 of Village Taloja Panchanand. The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) map confirms the area’s status, Kumar said.
Kharghar-based activist Jyoti Nadkarni said the reclamation appeared to be a systematic and planned affair with the dumping of debris on the wetland. Local youth started playing cricket after levelling the debris.