The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Belief (JNPT), the biggest port container terminal in India, plans to construct a 200-hectare (ha) mangrove park at Belpada in Navi Mumbai’s Uran by June 2021.
The realm, together with different eco-sensitive zones in Uran, has confronted the issue of particles dumping that has threatened mangrove patches within the Raigad district. The event of a mangrove park, the primary in Uran, has been a longstanding demand by environmentalists. It has additionally been steered by the State Wetland and Mangrove Grievance Redressal Committee appointed by the Bombay excessive courtroom in January 2019.
“We now have dedicated to constructing an eco-park to showcase the mangrove biodiversity in Belpada area below our jurisdiction,” mentioned SV Madabhavi, chief supervisor (port, planning and growth), JNPT. “Through the years, we now have been unnecessarily dragged into the controversy concerning the degradation of mangroves. We now have by no means been concerned in such actions. We stay a socially aware organisation, dedicated to the atmosphere, neighborhood, stakeholders, staff, and the trade.”
JNPT has roped within the Forest Division Company of Maharashtra (FDCM) to conduct a feasibility research. It plans to develop the park in two phases. “Since we’re largely engineers or related to port-related issues, we would not have a lot information on the way to construct a biodiversity conservation plan. Thus, we wanted consultants,” mentioned Madhabhavi.
The primary section of the park is anticipated to be prepared by June 2021 at a price of Rs 5 crore which is able to shield two dense mangrove patches and home visiting galleries, mangrove walkthroughs (boardwalks), constructions akin to an schooling and nature interpretation centre, and a nursery with uncommon mangrove species. “In these zones, our intention is to develop a biodiversity park the place we are able to showcase the pure ecosystem, mangrove progress, and open it up for guests by having mangrove trails, and so forth. JNPT doesn’t have any problem with fund allocation for the annual maintenance of this park,” mentioned Madabhavi. “The second section would come with the safety of water our bodies to guard the migratory chook habitat on this area.”
JNPT mentioned the plan of motion for the proposed park is awaiting submission from FDCM, publish which all particulars shall be finalised.
Krishna Bhavar, divisional supervisor (Thane), FDCM, mentioned, “The realm of the mangrove park as steered by JNPT is 200 ha. It should take us two to a few months to submit the feasibility report. As soon as authorized, if JNPT offers us a piece order, we’re able to put collectively an in depth challenge report and plan for the park. We’re but to signal a proper memorandum of understanding (MoU). We visited the location twice, and it’s conducive to have a mangrove park there.”
In March, JNPT had approached the State Mangrove Cell and the Mangrove Basis to assist draw up the park plan. “We have been informed that mangrove cell can’t implement this,” mentioned Madabhavi.
Virendra Tiwari, the extra principal chief conservator of forest (Mangrove Cell), mentioned, “It’s good to know that JNPT is planning to develop a mangrove park close to Belpada village, which may be an instance of biodiversity conservation and supply sustainable livelihood alternatives to native communities. Nevertheless, the Mangrove Cell or the Basis would not have the requisite experience for the preparation of the design of the park however we wish to be concerned within the challenge in an advisory function.”
“A mangrove park is sort of a dream challenge for us. We hope this may encourage eco-tourism, and likewise count on JNPT to start out respecting mangroves as a pure protector of the coast and protect them,” mentioned B N Kumar, director of NatConnect Basis, which had requested the excessive courtroom panel final yr to create a park with the dual goals of defending mangroves and creating public schooling zone.
Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishthan, mentioned the challenge might be an eyewash as JNPT has allegedly destroyed a number of Uran wetlands already. “They’ve been caught red-handed killing 4,500 mangroves for which a case had been filed however nobody was arrested. Now, a big stretch is being buried with particles and earth off Nationwide Freeway 348. JNPT should cease this destruction and handover mangroves below their jurisdiction to the forest division with out additional delay,” Pawar mentioned.