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Activists push for river regulation zones in Maharashtra

THE ASIAN AGE. | SONALI TELANG
Published : Jul 30, 2019, 1:31 am IST
Updated : Jul 30, 2019, 1:32 am IST

The demand comes days after over 1,000 passengers on board the Mahalaxmi Express were stranded for 17 hours due to flooding.

Maharashra CM Devendra Fadnavis
 Maharashra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Following repeated instances of flooding in Mumbai and its adjoining areas, environmentalists have stressed the need to bring back the river rejuvenation policy in Maharashtra.  The state had scrapped the river rejuvenation policy in 2015, which elaborated on buffer zone around rivers and discharge of effluents.

Environmentalists have demanded a river regulation zone (RRZ) policy to check construction on floodplains and wetlands. “The construction boom on floodplains on the outskirts of Mumbai has disturbed the flow of various rivers during heavy rainfall, resulting in disasters,” said environment groups The Nature Connect and Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP) in their letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The demand comes days after over 1,000 passengers on board the Mahalaxmi Express were stranded for 17 hours due to flooding.

“The government’s move to scrap the policy is proving to be dangerous as uncontrolled construction has left no place for flood water to settle down,” said Nandakumar Pawar of SEAP.

With salt pans now open for  housing projects, activists predict a bleak future. “The water, which is not allowed to seep, then submerges other areas. There are no proper sewerage treatment plants functioning in Ulhasnagar, Ambar-nath and Badlapur. So, sewer water is entering the rivers directly,” said BN Kumar of Nature Connect.

Tags: river regulation zone, the nature connect
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