MMRDA Announces Cutting of Mangroves in Wadala for a Metro Station

MMRDA Announces Cutting of Mangroves in Wadala for a Metro Station

The cutting of mangroves has been a contentious issue for civic agencies who argue that such activity is necessary for infrastructure development. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has now decided to clear mangroves in a one-hectare (ha) land portion at Wadala’s Bhakti Park to build an elevated Metro station as part of the Wadala Thane Metro line. 

Director (Works) at MMRDA, Pramod Ahuja said, “This is the only patch of mangroves on Metro Line 4 that we will be using. We have got permission from the Bombay High Court and all the other authorities. This plot does not have a dense mangrove cover. The forest department will also undertake compensatory afforestation.”

Meanwhile, the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Mangrove Protection Cell), Virendra Tiwari said that the agency will contribute towards “compensatory afforestation” in later drives to make up for the loss of mangroves.

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Understandably, environmentalists aren’t too pleased with the decision and have raised alarms about cutting mangroves despite reportedly having enough land for the construction of the station. 

D Stalin, an activist from the NGO Vanashakti said, “The non-mangrove wetland areas in the region were earlier handed over to private developers and now they are going after mangrove areas too. The BEST depot and truck terminal in Wadala have more than adequate space where a station can come up. This is completely unnecessary in our opinion.”

Fellow activist Zoru Bhathena also sought to highlight the MMRDA’s alleged shortcomings saying, “To cut trees on a one-hectare plot for an elevated station is completely wrong when only mangroves around the piers/pillars need to be cut. That will help save a large number of mangroves.”

The station in question is part of Metro Line 4 from Wadala to Kasarvadavali spanning 32 kilometres on an elevated corridor. The line will have 32 stations on its path and will establish connectivity between the Eastern Express Roadway, Monorail, Central Railway, as well as the currently under-construction Metro lines. 

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