Started 3 petitions
SOS to Prez, PM to save 54000 mangroves threatened by Bullet Train
This is an open letter to all of you. The news that as many as 54,000 mangroves will be hacked for the ambitious Bullet Train project has come to us as a big shock. Coming as it does ahead of the World Forestry Day being celebrated on March 21, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) clearance to run the bullet train mowing down mangroves across 13.36 hectares is a big blow to the City’s environment. The shocker also disheartens us environment lovers as there has been no action on the massive destruction of mangroves in Uran area by JNPT and NHAI. The Bombay High Court has very recently ordered the protection of mangroves and wetlands saying: “The destruction of mangroves offends the fundamental rights of the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. In view of the provisions of Articles 21, 47, 48A and 51A(g) of the Constitution of India, it is a mandatory duty of the State and its agencies and instrumentalities to protect and preserve mangroves.” While the Bullet Train could be envisaged as a public interest project, the larger interest is in protecting the City’s environment. The proposal to raze 54000 mangroves has now been sent to the Ministry of Forests and Environment and we request you to ensure that the MoEF does not clear the destruction. We are not at all against infrastructure development but our question is: should it come with environmental destruction? Bullet Train comes with a double whammy. The environment ministry has already given green signal for the project to run under flamingo and leopard zones in Sanjay Gandhi National Park. We fail to understand how a ministry which supposed to ensure environment protection is allowing environment destruction. Paradoxically, the government of India and various states will observe the World Forestry Day with the theme being Forests and Education. And we have this ill-conceived, strange, reprehensible, unpardonable way of educating the people about forests by destroying greenery that cannot be re-created. The official record f replanting mangroves has been abysmal. For instance, none of the mangroves planted by the authorities in Charkop area survived. The government ought to know that Mangroves do not grow anywhere and everywhere. They grow only tidal areas of the seas. We have experienced marooning of Chowpatty, Mithi River floods in Mumbai and massive devastation in Kerala very recently. Yet, we do not learn any lessons from the nature’s warnings. Can the project proponents not find an environment friendly, safer route for the bullet train instead of working towards suicidal way of destroying mangroves? To conclude, we quote what BBC Environment Correspondent wrote: Scientists have long warned that climate change will bring extreme rainfall and powerful sea-storms that could flood cities. They say lakes, marshlands and river-floodplains absorb excess rainfall, while salt marshes and mangroves work as a buffer against storm surges. We request you all to ensure that Mumbai mangroves are not destroyed for any project and the City is saved from future disasters. Yours sincerely B N Kumar – Director, The Nature Connect Nandakumar Pawar – Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan
#keralafightsback - SOS for UN help
The Indian state of Kerala is fighting back as the entire population is in shock in the wake of the unprecedented, massive flood fury. As the people try to cope up and begin to grapple with the crisis, the recovery is going to be a gigantic task. This requires massive efforts of a Himalayan scale. The local efforts alone will not suffice. We need intervention by UNO and UNICEF as post-flood disaster awaits Kerala. A massive humanitarian crisis is ahead. Already, some relief camps are having cases of diarrhea. We appeal to UN to come to the rescue of Kerala and help the people in their post-flood recovery. We also request the Government of India, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Hon’ble External Affairs Minister Ms Sushma Swaraj, in particular, to call for UN help. India has been part of UN’s peace endeavours and we are sure the world body will come to the aid of India.
Hon’ble Mukhya Mantri ji: We as a society have been systematically destroying mangroves in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Be it in the island city, the western and eastern suburbs or for that matter Navi Mumbai – mangroves have been the target of destruction for several years now. Debris is the inevitable by-product of construction. Debris mafia has been recklessly and rampantly killing mangroves by dumping the construction waste along the creeks and the sea. Now, an astonishing fact has come to light. The government infrastructure projects neglecting mangroves and wetlands. In Uran area, we found massive destruction of mangroves and the Regional Forest Officer himself has confirmed the killing of as many as 4,500 plants in 4.5 hectares. Local residents have named JNPT SEZ for the rampant killing of mangroves. Even a school student having EVS as a subject would tell us the importance f mangroves for the protection the City’s environment, the coastline and for maintenance of bio-diversity. Yet, none cares. Sad. Very Sad. Have we forgotten the Chowpatty and Mithi floods? Do we have to wait for another tragedy to realize and then plan steps to protect the mangroves? The various officials will tell you that the mangrove re-plantation is nothing but a sham. Mangroves cannot be grown on rocky areas. They need natural surroundings. Through this petition, we request you to look into the issue of ecological destruction and come out with a clear cut policy to protect environment – be it mangroves, rivers, wet lands or even the hills. Parsik Hill, as we have pointed out earlier, has been the victim of reckless quarrying for four decades. Thank you. With regards. B N KUMAR – Editor, www.thenatureconnect.com