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  Metros   Mumbai  23 Jun 2019  Green activists wary of MMR expansion

Green activists wary of MMR expansion

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 23, 2019, 6:37 am IST
Updated : Jun 23, 2019, 6:37 am IST

A massive reclamation and excavation of the sea is taking place for the 35km coastal road. At the Worli site of the coastal road.

In the wake of the Legislative Council approving the expansion of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) by 2,000 square kilometres to include Palghar, Vasai, Kalyan and other areas, environmentalists have raised concerns over possible destruction of green spaces for further development in these areas. (Photo: PTI/Representational)
 In the wake of the Legislative Council approving the expansion of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) by 2,000 square kilometres to include Palghar, Vasai, Kalyan and other areas, environmentalists have raised concerns over possible destruction of green spaces for further development in these areas. (Photo: PTI/Representational)

Mumbai: In the wake of the Legislative Council approving the expansion of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) by 2,000 square kilometres to include Palghar, Vasai, Kalyan and other areas, environmentalists have raised concerns over possible destruction of green spaces for further development in these areas.

While the expansion will boost infrastructure projects, green activists have pointed out that existing projects are already taking a toll on Mumbai’s environment.

Environmentalists have written to the chief minister noting the widespread destruction of hills, mangroves and wetlands even as the city has been developed. They have pointed out that urban planners in general have shown scant respect for the environment.

“A massive reclamation and excavation of the sea is taking place for the 35km coastal road. At the Worli site of the coastal road, the sea has already invaded the areas which have been reclaimed and excavated,” said Nandakumar Pawar, head of NGO Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan.

He said that Worli being rich in biodiversity has active fishing zones which have been reclaimed. “The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, too, has not resulted in any decongestion of Mahim as the bridge gets just about once per cent of the traffic though the city itself has been recording a 7 per cent rise in traffic,” he observed.

Activists highlighted that urban planners need to prioritise the protection of the environment and eco-sensitive zones while coming up with infrastructure projects. “Parsik Hills in Navi Mumbai have been destroyed much beyond the allotted limits, which has been pointed out by the forest department. Now, the Kharghar hills are being plundered under the guise of getting stone chips for the city infrastructure,” said activist B.N. Kumar, director of The Nature Connect.

Some of the key infrastructure projects in the newly-included areas of the MMR include Navi Mumbai airport, Alibaug-Virar multi-modal corridor, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, and several Metro projects.

Tags: mumbai metropolitan region, legislative council