Locals unite to save Seawoods wetlands

A petition to save the wetland is being heard in the Bombay high court

Mumbai: Several residents of Seawoods, Nerul are all set to hold an awareness drive on the importance of the pristine Seawoods wetlands, which is being eyed by several realtors. While the project entails that a golf course is going to come on a 67-hectare wetland area, locals have decided to create awareness through marathon, cycling events and formation of human chain near the area. -

A petition to save the wetland is being heard in the Bombay high court. The petitioner submitted an affidavit wherein a compilation of the biodiversity of the wetland found by the BNHS has been annexed.

“This is the largest awareness drive we are organising in Navi Mumbai to apprise people with the importance of wetlands. We are also going to conduct nature trail where participants can click pictures and post on Facebook with #savewetlandandphotocompetition.

We are trying to show the authorities how flourishing and beautiful the wetland is,” said Sunil Agrawal, a resident of NRI complex, Seawoods.

Around 67.85 hectare of the wetland has been denotified from the ‘No Development Zone’ (NDZ) to the ‘Regional Park, including golf course and predominately residential zone’.

Locals pointed out how the Navi Mumbai municipal corporation has boasted about the wetland in their official calendars but is not doing enough to save it from destruction. “The area does not come under the jurisdiction of NMMC, but we are ready to lend all support if the residents approach us,” said Divya Gaikwad, NMMC corporator of the area.

“The matter was heard in the High Court on Wednesday. We have submitted the compilations of the birds and other vegetation that are present at the site. Since it is one of the thriving wetlands of Navi Mumbai, it needs to be preserved,” said Vinod Punshi, petitioner.

The BNHS report states that the Seawoods wetland is an extraordinary wetland that is used by a large number of migratory and resident water birds. “On average, around 40,000 to 50,000 birds including 10,000–15,000 threatened lesser flamingos can be observed roosting at this site during high tides in winter,” the BNHS report said. It also recommended the site to be declared as protected area.

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