As the Uran villages have been facing the ire of floods in February, locals and activists have approached the state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, calling for an immediate check on the reclamation of wetlands. Locals have stated that the homes at Funde gaon, Nawghar gaon, Kunde gaon and Bhedkhar gaon have been submerged due to the flooding from creeks, blaming the landfill work in the water bodies.
“Ask any villager, he will tell you that this is the first time they are witnessing floods in February,” said Dilip Koli of the Machhi-maar Kruti Samiti. “Even during the worst deluge of 2005, we hardly had any problem. Now the water is entering our homes, disrupting lives,” he said.
Environment groups Nature Connect and Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP) have urged Mand state mangrove committee appointed by the Bombay high court to conduct high-level inquiry on the land filling activities in the wetlands.
“The infrastructure that we are developing would be in danger if we continue this mindless development. Today, it is Kunde and tomorrow it could be JNPT, JNPT SEZ or even NMSEZ real estate properties which will be submerged,” said B.N. Kumar, director of Nature Connect.
Moreover, an earlier response from Uran tehsildar to an application under the RTI revealed that there have been no floods in Uran taluka for two decades.
“The official agencies and project proponent are always in denial mode – be it the destruction of mangroves, wetlands or unscientific reclamation and we have several media reports to that effect,” said Nandakumar Pawar, head of SEAP.