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Environmentalists demand inquiry on the destruction of wetlands & mangroves in Uran

In the light of election season, green activists have called for inspection of landfill sites in Uran as villages continue to flood in the district owing to the destruction of wetlands and mangroves.

The environment groups stated that the rampant landfill in Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone (NMSEZ) plots has clogged the wetlands due to which the seawater is finding its course into Kunde and other villages during high tide.

The groups have written to the Bombay high court appointed mangrove committee staing that the CIDCO has leased out the plots including water bodies and mangroves to NMSEZ and JNPT SEZ.

“We have also marked the mail to the Election Commission of India with a request to instruct the mangrove committee that the poll work should not hinder environment care,” said B.N. Kumar, director of The Nature Connect.

The groups have stated that such destruction of wetland endangers lives of 70,000 people, as 15 villages in Dronagiri area in Uran face danger of floods and some of them have already started reeling under tidal waters.

“The mangrove committee’s work seems to have been held up due to the Lok Sabha election work. The panel should find a couple of hours to physically inspect, assess for itself and quickly take corrective action,” said Nandakumar Pawar, head of an NGO Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishthan. The mail was also addressed to the President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, state governor Vidyasagar Rao and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“Various project proponents take shelter under the provision to replant the mangroves compensatory for the destroyed ones. But the official record of mangrove re-plantation has been dismal and in any case man cannot grow mangroves, as the plants survive only in tidal zones and mudflats. The officials and governments sadly tend to ignore this aspect with short-sighted rush to execute infrastructure projects during their tenure,” the mail read.

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