Mumbai Environmentalists Begin Digital Agitation to Protest Destruction of Wetlands

Mumbai Environmentalists Begin Digital Agitation to Protest Destruction of Wetlands

Environmentalists in Mumbai have started the first “green” digital agitation to protest the destruction of urban wetlands. This digital campaign has been launched ahead of World Wetlands Day on February 2. 

This comes as large portions of wetlands in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) have been destroyed due to urbanisation and a spike in infrastructure development. As per Wetlands International South Asia (WISA), the city has lost 71 per cent of its wetlands between 1970 and 2014. 

Also read - Destruction Of Wetlands Have Forced Flamingos To Feed Within Smaller Pockets

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) is home to a big number of wetlands with the Raigad district reportedly having around 130 wetlands. 

“Since physical activities are limited due to the pandemic, we have chosen the online route to raise our collective voice to stir up the conscience of the powers-that-be and the people in general. NatConnect began to mobilise further support to the cause of wetlands through a series of tweets, posting photographs of the destruction,” said BN Kumar, the Director of NatConnect Foundation. 

ReadRaigad Admin To Undertake Survey To Declare Panje A Wetland

He added that mangroves have also been destroyed in the region, and the group, as a result, decided to start an online agitation. 

“Protect some wetlands such as Panje and Talawe as bird sanctuaries, maintain floodplains under the river regulatory zone on the banks of all rivers – both monsoon and perennial – and above all, learn from experience of floods and allow people to live,” Kumar added.

Environmentalists believe that the burying of wetlands in regions like Panje, Belpada, Bhendkhal, and Sawahkhar in Uran has had a vast impact on the lives of the people living in the region. The fishing community, in particular, have lost their livelihoods due to the burial of the wetlands in the area. 

Director at Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan, Nandakumar Pawar, said - “Wetlands are supposed to be urban sponges and they are nature’s gift to mankind as a flood control mechanism. In their absence, water finds its own course. Our urban planners ignore this and the result is flooding of Uran villages and paddy fields, with saline water.”

Also read Maharashtra Govt Notifies 1,387 Hectares Of Mangroves In Thane As Forest Land

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