July 26 grim reminder - #SaveOurMangroves or #FaceDisaster

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July 26 grim reminder - #SaveOurMangroves or #FaceDisaster

July 26 is important for us Mumbaikars in more than one way.

It is a grim reminder of the deluge and floods of 26/7, 2005.

Yes, it’s the 15th anniversary of 26/7 floods.

July 26 also marks the UNSECO-driven International Mangroves Protection and Conservation Day.

Let’s remind ourselves of the importance of mangroves for the entire city – Mumbai metropolitan Region (MMR).

As UNESCO points out mangroves are “rare, spectacular and prolific ecosystems on the boundary between land and sea. These extra ordinary ecosystems contribute to the wellbeing, food security, and protection of coastal communities worldwide. They support a rich biodiversity and provide a valuable nursery habitat for fish and crustaceans. Mangroves also act as a form of natural coastal defense against storm surges, tsunamis, rising sea levels and erosion. Their soils are highly effective carbon sinks, sequestering vast amounts of carbon.”

Mangrove ecosystem services are worth US$33-57 thousand (up to Rs 42,83,000) per hectare per year to the national economies of developing countries,  says Global Mangrove Alliance another NGO campaigning to save the vital sea forests.

Yet, we do not seem to realise the importance of mangroves.

Otherwise, we would not have been mute spectators to repeated flooding and farce called replantation of mangroves.

We have been screaming from our rooftops about the need to save mangroves and pointing out the destruction. Luckily, the awareness among the people and they do keep pointing out the destruction in their localities.

This awareness has to grow.

We need to keep an eye on the expansion of highways, the construction for projects such as SEZ without environment clearances, the neglect of mangroves while drawing development plans and above all the scant respect for environment on part of the authorities, planning agencies and so-called urban planners.

The High Court has done us a tremendous favour by declaring that mangroves are our birth right. The court has appointed Mangrove Protection and Conservation Committee.

But the Committee decisions are not being adhered to.

For instance, the Committee asked all planning agencies, district collectors to handover the mangrove zones in their respective areas to the Forest Department. The Forest department on its own has asked for the transfer of mangrove and wetland areas to be protected. Yet, not even an inch of mangrove zones have been handed over to them.

Can the mangrove committee not file a case against the authorities neglecting this crucial environment aspect?

Meanwhile the destruction goes on. Take the case of Kharghar and Ulwe where mangroves are either being burnt by covering them with dry leaves and hay or just being dug out. The destruction of mangroves for Navi Mumbai International Airport and by SEZ projects in Uran already caused unseasonal floods in February/March 2019.  Paddy fields at Khopte in Uran are being inundated by creek water.

There could be many such cases across MMR.

Let us be alert and keep pointing out, writing about them.

Please join this campaign and spread the good word.

Flashback to 26/7. The Chitale Committee appointed by the government has made several useful and implementable recommendations on sewerage management, mangrove protection, traffic management.

This report by my friend, environmentalist Gopal Jhaveri should shake the government out of its slumber and implement the Chitale report which they accepted.


Report which is accepted by State Government of Maharashtra Clearly states the destroyed condition of City and recommendations to improve for future disasters


In Environment area importance of Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey ....As River March Movement, we are working and demanding Aarey as Forest and Part of SGNP, Plastic and Debris free City , Rehabilitation of Adivasi and other encroachment, No Private vehicles in this eco sensitive areas, Animal Bypass on Ghodbandar Road for leopord and other Animals .... Rejuvenation of Rivers and It's Tributaries in the city by treating Sewage with Proper Sewer Treatment Plants, Kolhapuri Bandhara, Stopping cowdung and other Tabela waste in water bodies and all this will improve condition of mangroves but at the same time Forest department needs to alert for mangroves land encroachment. With all this measures, we can have clean beaches for people and amazing marine life of this region


Report also talks about City's infrastructure and public transport and Road March movement try to focus light for this area also....DP Roads even after 40 year what BMC mark roads on DP plans are blocked at many places and if open they are facing bottle necks.... When world's city traffic moving with 30km/hr, Mumbai's Traffic is moving at a speed of 7km/hr and because of that Mumbaikars are not only losing Money and Time but also suffering socially..... and surprisingly no action by any one. #MumbaiMetroMess Social media movement by us and finally in Bombay High court for giving velocity for Metro work.... Improvement of BEST and Creating Outstation Bus terminal on  Outskirts of city at Octroi point.... ideas was accepted but further no progress by city authority....Many more demand like Parking lots, Truck Terminal, Auto and Taxi parking Hubs to avoid line for fuel and many more things and maximum of it is recommended by this report


Report also suggested   #0SlumsMumbai and we believe this is only option to improve city's infrastructure environment and also for health and life of common citizen and it is not impossible. 1935 New York and 1965 Singapore did it. 20 laks house of 400 sq ft need 4000 buildings of 500 flats with construction cost of 1,50000 cr it is not impossible as government atleast recollect 30% of it in direct or indirect taxes 60000 cr is with BMC fixed deposit plus state and central government but only gap is political and public will


After 15 years all government in central , State and BMC and no one is looking at this even though we are paying 36% of Income tax and 28% of Railway revenue


Mumbaikars who works highest hours in the world for contributing in nation pride are requesting to people who are in power to act on this report and Homage to all those who lost their life during that  deluge


Jai Hind��




I have nothing more to add, other than requesting Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to help ourselves to prevent future disasters.

Thank you.

B N Kumar

Director- NatConnect Foundation