Lovers at the sanctuary
Navi Mumbai: The environmentalists are now looking into the fine print of the final draft notification, issued by the union government of environment, forests, and climate change for the mapping of the eco-sensitive zone of Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary.
They plan to raise a few objections and suggestions that may include the omission of the Kanjurmarg dumping ground from the flamingo sanctuary, and the mangroves along the Eastern Express Highway.
“We are also questioning why organic waste is likely to be allowed to be handled inside the sanctuary area, and what steps are to be taken to stop waste water of industries, bio-medical units from coming to the sanctuary,” said D Stalin of the Vanashakti NGO. Environmentalist Debi Goenka of Conservation Action Trust added, “We are raising a strong objection about the non-uniform no-development zone. Previously, no construction could occur within 10 km distance of the sanctuary. Now, the boundaries of this eco-sensitive zone varies from 0km to 3.89 km.”
Spread over 1,690 hectares area, the TCFS was declared a sanctuary in May 2018.
B N Kumar of NatConnect Foundation, welcomed the proposal for buffer zone in the eco-sensitive zone of the sanctuary but also opposed the commercial project undertaken by the NMMC near the Thane creek.
Activist Nandakumar Pawar of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishthan hoped that “the buffer zone idea will be implemented in letter and spirit to end anti-environmental activities like quarrying of the Parsik Hills”.
TCFS is home to 12 true mangrove species, 39 mangrove associates, 167 species of birds including flamingos, apart several species of fish, butterflies, insect and other mammals.
The greens are upbeat about the scope for eco tourism at the sanctuary, akin to the Marine Biodiversity Centre at the Airoli end which has become a popular haunt for bird watchers.