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Panje wetlands dry again, greens suspect blockage

THE ASIAN AGE. | SONALI TELANG
Published : Jun 10, 2019, 6:04 am IST
Updated : Jun 10, 2019, 6:04 am IST

The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of Maharashtra have claimed that the development body has not closed sluice gates.

The green activists suspect that the sluice gates at one side of the wetland are being deliberately closed as the other side is flourishing with tidal water.
 The green activists suspect that the sluice gates at one side of the wetland are being deliberately closed as the other side is flourishing with tidal water.

Mumbai: Around 60 per cent of Panje wetlands in Uran area have dried despite the continuous high tides since last month, claimed environmentalists. The green activists suspect that the sluice gates at one side of the wetland are being deliberately closed as the other side is flourishing with tidal water.

Nandakumar Pawar, head of NGO Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP), visited the Panje wetlands on Thursday, following which he made an official complaint to the CIDCO and Tehsildar office.

“It seems that there has been a deliberate attempt to block the tidal water. One portion of the Panje wetland is filled with water, while majority of it is drying. This is despite the high tides recently occur-red at the site,” said Mr Pawar.

However, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of Maharashtra have claimed that the development body has not closed sluice gates.

“All the sluice gates are still open as the site has not yet witnessed any rainfall. We will investigate the matter,” said a CIDCO official.

Meanwhile, the officials also suspect that the blockage has been done by local villagers for playing cricket matches at the site. Earlier in October 2018, the state mangrove cell had directed the CIDCO to open all the sluice gates during the repair work on the same, which had prevented tidal water from entering the wetland site.

The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) report stated that core wetland area of 213 hectares in Panje consists of foraging and roosting areas for several bird species.

Tags: cidco, bombay natural history society
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