State Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar arrived in the Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre at Airoli officially commenced “Marine Matters’ lecture series and launched a dedicated bus service and a bird app on the occasion along with giving Maharashtra its first ornamental fish hatchery unit at the center. An e-toilet and sanitary plaza funded by Rs. 40 lacs of Airoli MLA Sandeep Naik’s MLA funds was also inaugurated on the occasion. “Marine Matters’ lecture series is aimed at spreading awareness about coastal and marine biodiversity. These talks will be delivered once every month. The state has also announced its first ornamental fish hatchery unit. Civic school students will be given free entry to learn more about infant fish of different species and their nurturing process which, in turn, will benefit the local fishing community. The centre has seven species of clownfish. In his address, State Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar announced that funds from Thane MP Rajan Vichare and Airoli MLA Sandeep Naik would be utilized for the project.
Quoting late Congress leader Dr Patangrao Kadam who was a forest Minister, Sudhir Mungatiwar said he believes in the fact that monetary wealth comes from trees planted in forests.
He said the he believes that between both departments that he holds, the forest department has more power than finance.
The minister underlined the need of their first ornamental fish hatchery unit.
He added that women of women saving groups will make a living from the same.
The center boasts also a crab pond. The state has boosted crab farming in the mangrove forests to make it a viable alternative source of livelihood for fishermen. He voiced confidence in their crab farming initiative as well.
His message for citizens on world environment day was that they should become environment warriors as a green initiative without public participation is akin a body without a soul.
Also present on the occasion were Mayor J D Sutar, Thane MP Thane Vichare, Airoli MLA Sandeep Naik, State Wadar Community Board Chairman Vijay Chougule, MLC Rameshdada Patil and Additional Principal Chief Conservator, Mangrove Cell N Vasudevan among others.
Zeba Warsia – NMTV News.