Friday, Mar 31, 2023 | Last Update : 07:44 AM IST

  Metros   Mumbai  03 Jun 2018  Locals fight to save Kharghar pond

Locals fight to save Kharghar pond

Published : Jun 3, 2018, 1:50 am IST
Updated : Jun 3, 2018, 1:50 am IST

Locals converged on the site and prevented the JCB from filling the water body.

Kharghar locals who stopped CIDCO from reclaiming pond in sector 19 on Saturday.
 Kharghar locals who stopped CIDCO from reclaiming pond in sector 19 on Saturday.

Mumbai: Locals have been fighting tooth and nail to save the water body in sector 19, Kharghar, which has a diverse ecosystem of its own, from commercial exploitation. On Saturday, they stopped the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO) from reclaiming the water pond in the area.

When landfilling work started early morning, locals stepped down to the site and prevented the JCB from filling the water body further. Several residents stood in front of JCB machines, raising slogans against the landfilling done by the CIDCO. They succeeded in driving the JCBs away till Saturday afternoon.

Nareshchandra Singh, a resident of the area, said, “The Wetland grievance redressal committee appointed by the high court had twice directed the CIDCO to stop dumping debris in the pond.  The last order was on Thursday. Yet, CIDCO is carrying out the work in full swing. We are not left with any other option but to protest.”

“The pond has been there for years and has an ecosystem of its own. Satellite images from Google Earth and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) from 2003 and 2005 show the pond. We have filed a complaint against all concerned authorities at Kharghar police station, which has the signatures of 140 residents.”

Around 5 hectares of water body between sector 18 and 19 has been subjected to landfilling activities, due to which, the pond has been reduced to 1.5 hectares, alleged residents. Despite the directions of the high court-appointed wetland committee to restrain the work earlier this week, the CIDCO again started reclaiming the pond by filling it with debris.

Meanwhile CIDCO claims that it has documents stating that the site is not a wetland. “We have all the documents to show that the area is not a wetland. Satellite images from 2008-2013 do not show any pond in the area. In fact we were carrying out some work on the adjacent site, during which, we had to dig out soil from this site for work. It seems that the dug-out space has been filled with water over the years,” said a senior official from the CIDCO. Residents, too, have decided to move court on the matter.

Tags: cidco, kharghar pond